Early Afternoon Stock Risers: Monsanto and Westlake Chemical Shine

Through early afternoon trading on Tuesday, August 23, 2011, these stocks are helping the Basic Materials (NYSE:XLB) sector. 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.

Shares of Monsanto Company (NYSE:MON) are trading at $68.00, up $2.71 (+4.2%) from a previous close of $65.28. Monsanto Co. provides agricultural products, including seeds, biotechnology trait products, and herbicides, that provide farmers with solutions that improve productivity and reduce costs.

Stock Price Performance: During July 25, 2011 to August 22, 2011, the stock price had dropped $11.14 (-14.6%) from $76.42 to $65.28. 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 days, rising 15.2% (+$9.09) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between September 14, 2010 and September 23, 2010 when shares fell for eight-straight days, falling 7.4% (-$4.19) over that span.

Celanese Corporation (NYSE:CE) is one of the top price gainers today. Its stock price is $39.32, which is $1.52 (+4%) above the previous close of $37.80. Celanese Corporation is a producer of chemicals and advanced materials. It operates mainly through four business segments: Advanced Engineered Materials, Consumer Specialties, Industrial Specialties and Acetyl Intermediates.

Stock Price Performance: During July 25, 2011 to August 22, 2011, the stock price had dropped $19.36 (-33.9%) from $57.16 to $37.80. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between December 8, 2010 and December 21, 2010 when shares rose for 10-straight days, rising 6.9% (+$2.66) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between July 29, 2011 and August 8, 2011 when shares fell for seven-straight days, falling 31.2% (-$17.19) over that span.

Valhi, Inc. (NYSE:VHI) is among the top price gainers in the sector today. Its shares are trading at $49.97, up $1.88 (+3.9%) from a previous close of $48.09. Valhi Inc.is a holding Company, which through its subsidiaries operates in three segments: Chemicals, Component Products and Waste Management.

Stock Price Performance: During July 22, 2011 to August 19, 2011, the stock price had dropped $15.34 (-24.5%) from $62.74 to $47.40. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between March 28, 2011 and April 8, 2011 when shares rose for 10-straight days, rising 20.9% (+$5.07) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between August 1, 2011 and August 8, 2011 when shares fell for six-straight days, falling 35.7% (-$19.93) over that span.

Shares of The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company (NYSE:SMG) are trading at $46.27, up $1.85 (+4.2%) from a previous close of $44.41. Scotts Miracle-Gro Company is a manufacturer and marketer of consumer branded non-durable products for lawn and garden care and professional horticulture in North America and Europe.

Stock Price Performance: During May 26, 2011 to August 22, 2011, the stock price had fallen $13.66 (-23.5%) from $58.07 to $44.41. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between September 1, 2010 and September 16, 2010 when shares rose for 11-straight days, rising 7.6% (+$3.54) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between July 27, 2011 and August 4, 2011 when shares fell for seven-straight days, falling 11.3% (-$5.78) over that span.

Westlake Chemical Corporation (NYSE:WLK) is among the sector price gainers today, as its shares are trading at $39.97, up $1.76 (+4.6%) from a previous close of $38.20. Westlake Chemical Corp. operates as a manufacturer and marketer of basic chemicals, vinyls, polymers and fabricated products.

Stock Price Performance: During May 26, 2011 to August 22, 2011, the stock price had fallen $17.82 (-31.8%) from $56.02 to $38.20. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between October 29, 2010 and November 8, 2010 when shares rose for seven-straight days, rising 18.3% (+$5.83) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between July 21, 2011 and July 28, 2011 when shares fell for six-straight days, falling 7.4% (-$3.99) over that span.

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