Praxair Inc ( PX) pushed the Chemicals industry lower today making it today's featured Chemicals loser. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.5%. By the end of trading, Praxair Inc fell $1.15 (-1.1%) to $100.85 on average volume. Throughout the day, 1.6 million shares of Praxair Inc exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.8 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $100.65-$102.81 after having opened the day at $101.94 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $102. Other company's within the Chemicals industry that declined today were: Landec Corporation ( LNDC), down 4.7%, Yongye International Inc ( YONG), down 4.7%, American Pacific Corporation ( APFC), down 4.1%, and NL Industries Inc ( NL), down 3.9%.

Praxair, Inc. engages in the production, sale, and distribution of industrial gases primarily in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia. Praxair Inc has a market cap of $29.02 billion and is part of the basic materials sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 21.5, equal to the average chemicals industry P/E ratio and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 6.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Praxair as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity, growth in earnings per share, good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally poor debt management on most measures that we evaluated.

On the positive front, Pacific Ethanol Inc ( PEIX), up 28.6%, Pacific Ethanol Inc ( PEIXD), up 28.6%, BioFuel Energy Corporation ( BIOF), up 22.6%, and Clean Diesel Technologies Inc ( CDTI), up 7.2%, were all gainers within the chemicals industry with Williams Partners ( WPZ) 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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