The chemicals industry closed the day up 2.5%. Solazyme Inc ( SZYM), Rentech Inc ( RTK), Gulf Resources Inc ( GURE), and BioFuel Energy Corporation ( BIOF) were all decliners today within the chemicals industry with Kraton Performance Polymers Inc ( KRA) being today's featured chemicals loser. Kraton Performance Polymers Inc fell 17 cents (-0.9%) to $17.88 on average volume. Throughout the day, 549,486 shares of Kraton Performance Polymers Inc exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 607,400 shares.

Kraton Performance Polymers, Inc., through its subsidiary, Kraton Polymers LLC, engages in the development, production, and marketing of styrenic block copolymers (SBCs) and non-SBC products worldwide. The company offers approximately 250 core commercial grades of SBCs. Kraton Performance Polymers Inc has a market cap of $566.6 million and is part of the basic materials sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 5.3, equal to the average chemicals industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 41.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Kraton Performance Polymers as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its impressive record of earnings per share growth, robust revenue growth and notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself and poor profit margins.

On the positive front, Cytec Industries ( CYT), LyondellBasell Industries ( LYB), Celanese Corporation ( CE), and Georgia Gulf ( GGC) were all gainers within the chemicals industry with Mosaic ( MOS) being today's featured chemicals industry winner.

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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