Shares of Ashland ( ASH) led the chemicals sector on Monday following a positive mention in Barron's.

Ashland was up $1.07, or 15%, to $8.17 after Barron's said earnings should be better than Wall Street is expecting for the Covington, Ky., chemicals maker.

Celanese ( CE) was up 13%, or $1.51 to $13.23. The Dallas-based company got an upgrade Friday.

"We are seeing early signs of improvement in China based on an end-of-inventory destocking, and a stimulus package that targets an infrastructure build-out as compared to the western stimulus packages that are heavy on subsidy payments," Citi Investment Research analyst P.J. Juvekar said in a note to clients.

Juvekar boosted his rating to buy from hold and raised his price target to $15 from $10.

Sherwin-Williams ( SHW) shares were rising 8.9%, or $3.99 to $49.01 as the paint-maker recovered from a sell rating it got last week by Longbow from neutral to sell. The analyst cited declining sales volume from contractors.

DuPont ( DD) shares rose 7.8%, or 1.62% to $22.28, as the Dow soared and an analyst weighed in with positive comments.

Jefferies & Co. analyst Laurence Alexander said Wall Street is not yet pricing in DuPont's potential to rally before the economy improves, and its ability to transform its product line.

He maintained a buy rating with a $33 price target, and expects the stock to jump 60% over Friday's $20.66 close.

Dow Chemical ( DOW) was up 11.5%, or 88 cents to $8.56.

Copyright 2009 TheStreet.com Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.

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