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S&P Equity Research Issues Energy & Materials Sector Predictions For 2011

Affordable housing, reduced lumber capacity following the downturn, and rising interest rates (which could cause buyers to act sooner rather than later) may act as catalysts, according to ERS. We also note that overseas demand for lumber and fiber remains high, and that lumber futures have increased significantly in recent weeks.

7. Petrochemical players are in a sweet spot.

Petrochemicals manufacturers, which use natural gas as feedstock in the production of their petrochemicals, should continue to benefit in 2011 from weak natural gas prices while their oil-based product prices remain firm, according to ERS. Companies which may benefit, in our view, include Westlake Chemical [NYSE: WLK 43 ***], Dow Chemical [NYSE: DOW 35 ***], PPG Industries [NYSE: PPG 84 *****], and Olin [NYSE: OLN 20 ****].

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As the world's largest producer of independent equity research, Standard & Poor's licenses its research to global institutions for their investors and advisors.  Standard & Poor's team of experienced U.S., European and Asian equity analysts use a fundamental, bottom-up approach to assess a global universe of multi-asset class securities across industries worldwide.  Follow Standard & Poor's equity analysts' U.S. market commentary each day at http://www.equityresearch.standardandpoors.com/.

The equity research reports and recommendations provided by Standard & Poor's Equity Research Services are performed separately from any other analytic activity of Standard & Poor's. Standard & Poor's Equity Research Services has no access to non-public information received by other units of Standard & Poor's.  Standard & Poor's does not trade for its own account.  The analytical and ethical conduct of Standard & Poor's equity analysts is governed by the firm's Research Objectivity Policy, a copy of which may also be found at www.standardandpoors.com or by clicking here ( http://www2.standardandpoors.com/spf/pdf/equity/ResearchObjectivityPolicy2005.pdf).  

All information provided by Standard & Poor's is impersonal and not tailored to the needs of any person, entity or group of persons.  Past performance is no indication of future results. Standard & Poor's and its affiliates provide a wide range of services to, or relating to, many organizations, including issuers of securities, investment advisers, broker-dealers, investment banks, other financial institutions and financial intermediaries, and accordingly may receive fees or other economic benefits from those organizations, including organizations whose securities or services they may recommend, rate, include in model portfolios, evaluate or otherwise address.

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