Pacific Ethanol ( PEIX) pushed the Chemicals industry higher today making it today's featured chemicals winner. The industry as a whole closed the day down 3.1%. By the end of trading, Pacific Ethanol rose 2 cents (1.6%) to $1.29 on light volume. Throughout the day, 4.8 million shares of Pacific Ethanol exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 8.7 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $1.24-$1.36 after having opened the day at $1.25 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $1.27. Other companies within the Chemicals industry that increased today were: Clean Diesel Technologies ( CDTI), up 3.1%, Flexible Solutions International ( FSI), up 3.1%, Nanophase Technologies Corporation ( NANX), up 2.1%, and Lightbridge ( LTBR), up 1.7%.

Pacific Ethanol, Inc. produces and markets low carbon renewable fuels in the western United States, primarily in California, Nevada, Arizona, Oregon, Colorado, Idaho, and Washington. The company offers ethanol and its co-products, including wet distillers grains. Pacific Ethanol has a market cap of $102.5 million and is part of the basic materials sector. Shares are down 74.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there is one analyst that rates Pacific Ethanol a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Pacific Ethanol as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its poor profit margins, generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself and generally weak debt management.

On the negative front, Metabolix ( MBLX), down 11.4%, Solazyme ( SZYM), down 9.4%, Omnova Solutions ( OMN), down 8.7%, and TPC Group ( TPCG), down 7.1%, were all losers within the chemicals industry with E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company ( DD) 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).