Alcoa and Rio Tinto Top Stocks in the Basic Materials Sector Seeing Prices Rise: RIO, MON, AGU, AA, UFS

Through early trading on Thursday, October 6, 2011, these stocks are helping the Basic Materials (NYSE:XLB) sector today. Long time Wall St. Cheat Sheet readers know to watch stock prices because Technicals on the Stock Chart are Strong’ is one of the ‘T’s in our CHEAT SHEET investing framework.

Rio Tinto plc (NYSE:RIO) is among the top price gainers in the sector. Its shares are trading at $47.49, up $1.99 (+4.4%) from the previous close of $45.51. Rio Tinto is an international business involved in each stage of metal and mineral production. The company produces aluminum, copper, diamonds, coal, iron ore, uranium, gold and industrial minerals.

Stock Price Performance: From July 11, 2011, to October 4, 2011, the stock price had fallen $25.99 (-37.2%) from $69.86 to $43.87. It saw one of its worst periods between February 14, 2011 and February 24, 2011 when shares fell for eight straight trading days, falling 10.3% (-$7.64). The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between June 24, 2011 and July 1, 2011 when shares rose for six straight trading days, rising 8.4% (+$5.63).

Monsanto Company (NYSE:MON) is among the sector price gainers, as its shares are trading at $69.69, up $3.44 (+5.2%) from the previous close of $66.25. Monsanto manufactures agricultural products.

Stock Price Performance: From July 12, 2011, to October 5, 2011, the stock price had fallen $7.54 (-10.2%) from $73.79 to $66.25. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between December 15, 2010 and December 30, 2010 when shares rose for 11 straight trading days, rising 15.2% (+$9.05). It saw one of its worst periods between September 15, 2011 and September 23, 2011 when shares fell for seven straight trading days, falling 9.5% (-$6.68).

Agrium Inc. (NYSE:AGU) is among the top price gainers in the sector. Its shares are trading at $70.94, up $2.76 (+4.1%) from the previous close of $68.18. Agrium is a major retail supplier of agricultural products and services in both North and South America, as well as a global producer and marketer of agricultural nutrients and industrial products.

Stock Price Performance: From September 7, 2011, to October 5, 2011, the stock price had dropped $20.15 (-22.8%) from $88.33 to $68.18. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between May 20, 2011 and May 31, 2011 when shares rose for seven straight trading days, rising 10.2% (+$8.11). It saw one of its worst periods between April 4, 2011 and April 14, 2011 when shares fell for nine straight trading days, falling 7.6% (-$7.20).

Alcoa Inc. (NYSE:AA) is among the sector price gainers, as its shares are trading at $9.77, up 40 cents (+4.3%) from the previous close of $9.37. Alcoa is a global producer of aluminum. It is mainly engaged in the production and management of primary aluminum, fabricated aluminum, and alumina combined. It is actively involved in a range of industries, including technology, mining, smelting, and recycling.

Stock Price Performance: From July 12, 2011, to October 5, 2011, the stock price had fallen $6.31 (-40.2%) from $15.68 to $9.37. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between June 24, 2011 and July 5, 2011 when shares rose for seven straight trading days, rising 7.6% (+$1.16). It saw one of its worst periods between September 15, 2011 and September 23, 2011 when shares fell for seven straight trading days, falling 15.9% (-$1.91).

Domtar Corporation (NYSE:UFS) is among the top price gainers in the sector. Its shares are trading at $72.69, up $2.68 (+3.8%) from the previous close of $70.01. Domtar is an integrated manufacturer and marketer of uncoated freesheet paper in North America.

Stock Price Performance: From July 11, 2011, to October 4, 2011, the stock price had fallen $28.80 (-30.2%) from $95.47 to $66.67. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between October 15, 2010 and October 25, 2010 when shares rose for seven straight trading days, rising 9.8% (+$6.69). It saw one of its worst periods between July 7, 2011 and July 18, 2011 when shares fell for eight straight trading days, falling 6.9% (-$6.77).