Airgas

(

ARG

) pushed the Wholesale industry higher today making it today's featured wholesale winner. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.3%. By the end of trading, Airgas rose $1.47 (1.7%) to $88.24 on average volume. Throughout the day, 484,110 shares of Airgas exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 491,800 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $85.66-$88.35 after having opened the day at $86.32 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $86.77. Other companies within the Wholesale industry that increased today were:

China Armco Metals

(

CNAM

), up 5.7%,

China Metro-Rural Holdings

(

CNR

), up 4.9%,

Watsco

(

WSO.B

), up 3.1%, and

Crystal Rock Holdings

(

CRVP

), up 3%.

Airgas, Inc., through its subsidiaries, engages in the distribution of industrial, medical, and specialty gases in the United States. Airgas has a market cap of $6.59 billion and is part of the

services

sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 21, below the average wholesale industry P/E ratio of 21.6 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 11.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 11 analysts that rate Airgas a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and two rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Airgas as a

buy

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, notable return on equity and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally poor debt management on most measures that we evaluated.

On the negative front,

Westinghouse Solar

(

WEST

), down 14.4%,

Chefs Warehouse Holdings

(

CHEF

), down 6.7%,

Staar Surgical

(

STAA

), down 6.6%, and

VOXX International

(

VOXX

), down 6.1%, were all losers within the wholesale industry with

McKesson

(

MCK

) being today's wholesale industry loser.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the wholesale industry could consider

iShares Dow Jones US Cons Goods

(

IYK

) while those bearish on the wholesale industry could consider

ProShares Ultra Sht Consumer Goods

(

SZK

).

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