Williams Partners

(

WPZ

) pushed the Chemicals industry higher today making it today's featured chemicals winner. The industry as a whole closed the day down 1.2%. By the end of trading, Williams Partners rose 74 cents (1.4%) to $54.07 on average volume. Throughout the day, 654,801 shares of Williams Partners exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 741,400 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $53.09-$55.39 after having opened the day at $53.09 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $53.33. Other companies within the Chemicals industry that increased today were:

Pacific Ethanol

(

PEIX

), up 11.9%,

BioFuel Energy Corporation

(

BIOF

), up 7.8%,

Gushan Environmental Energy

(

GU

), up 5.9%, and

American Vanguard Corporation

(

AVD

), up 4%.

Williams Partners L.P. focuses on natural gas transportation, gathering, treating and processing, storage, natural gas liquid fractionation, and oil transportation activities in the United States. The company operates in two segments, Gas Pipeline, and Midstream Gas and Liquids. Williams Partners has a market cap of $16.98 billion and is part of the

basic materials

sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.9, above the average chemicals industry P/E ratio of 11.8 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 11.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are seven analysts that rate Williams Partners a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and three rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Williams Partners as a

buy

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, revenue growth, expanding profit margins, 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,

Gulf Resources

(

GURE

), down 10.2%,

Synthesis Energy Sys

(

SYMX

), down 8.9%,

Flexible Solutions International

(

FSI

), down 8.2%, and

Gevo

(

GEVO

), down 6.7%, were all losers within the chemicals industry with

Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan

(

POT

) being today's chemicals industry loser.

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

Materials Select Sector SPDR

(

XLB

) while those bearish on the chemicals industry could consider

ProShares Short Basic Materials Fd

(

SBM

).

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