The Basic Materials sector (XLB) held steady during a trading day that saw the S&P 500 grow 0.1%.

As a proxy for the sector, the ETF tracked closer to the overall market today than over the past month. As trading began today, XLB was up 2% over the last thirty trading days, and the S&P 500 climbed 3.4%.

Huntsman Corporation (HUN) was a major gainer in the sector, rising 6.6% (+90 cents) to close at $14.48 with 6.5 million shares moving. The stock traded in a range of $13.53 to $14.55. Share price is up, having risen $2.65 (22.4%) from $11.83 on July 17, 2012.

Sims Metal Management (SMS) was one of the sector's big losers, as its price dropped 6.6% (-64 cents) to close at $9.12. 85,859 shares of the stock moved. The stock traded between $9 and $9.16. The stock has lost momentum over the last three months, losing $2.75 (-23.2%) from $11.87 on May 18, 2012.

Greif (GEF) declined 5.4% to close at $40.97, moving below its 50-day moving average of $42.21 and 200-day moving average of $46.62. OM Group (OMG) rose 6.6% to close at $17.37, crossing its 50-day moving average of $16.91.

Kraton Performance Polymers (KRA) rose 3.4% to close at $21.26, approaching its 50-day moving average of $21.46. It has also moved closer to its 200-day moving average of $23.14. Rio Tinto plc (BBL) fell 4.3% to close at $47.71, moving closer to its 50-day moving average of $47.06. Also, the stock moved closer to its 200-day moving average of $59.40.

L.B. Foster Company (FSTR) hit a new 52-week high today, reaching $34.47 to top the previous high of $33.98.