Airgas ( ARG) pushed the Wholesale industry higher today making it today's featured wholesale winner. The industry as a whole was unchanged today. By the end of trading, Airgas rose 41 cents (0.5%) to $83.20 on light volume. Throughout the day, 307,552 shares of Airgas exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 607,800 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $82.07-$83.29 after having opened the day at $82.44 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $82.79. Other companies within the Wholesale industry that increased today were: Westinghouse Solar ( WEST), up 11.8%, China Metro-Rural Holdings ( CNR), up 6%, Shengkai Innovations ( VALV), up 5.7%, and Lawson Products ( LAWS), up 5%.

Airgas, Inc., through its subsidiaries, engages in the distribution of industrial, medical, and specialty gases in the United States. Airgas has a market cap of $6.3 billion and is part of the services sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 19.8, above the average wholesale industry P/E ratio of 19.4 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 4.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 11 analysts that rate Airgas a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and two rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Airgas as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, 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 negative front, SinoHub ( SIHI), down 12.3%, Senomyx ( SNMX), down 6.2%, Navarre Corporation ( NAVR), down 6%, and Avnet ( AVT), down 5.6%, were all laggards within the wholesale industry with Henry Schein ( HSIC) being today's wholesale industry laggard.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the wholesale industry could consider iShares Dow Jones US Cons Goods ( IYK) while those bearish on the wholesale industry could consider ProShares Ultra Sht Consumer Goods ( SZK).

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