Dow Chemical ( DOW) pushed the Chemicals industry higher today making it today's featured chemicals winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 1.3%. By the end of trading, Dow Chemical rose $0.33 (1.0%) to $32.50 on light volume. Throughout the day, 5,033,659 shares of Dow Chemical exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 7,371,700 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $32.30-$32.79 after having opened the day at $32.41 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $32.17. Other companies within the Chemicals industry that increased today were: Synthesis Energy Sys ( SYMX), up 13.3%, REX American Resources ( REX), up 11.2%, Ikonics Corporation ( IKNX), up 5.7% and Gevo ( GEVO), up 5.4%.

The Dow Chemical Company manufactures and supplies chemical products for use as raw materials worldwide. Dow Chemical has a market cap of $39.1 billion and is part of the basic materials sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 42.3, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 0.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 2 analysts that rate Dow Chemical a buy, 4 analysts rate it a sell, and 13 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Dow Chemical as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its good cash flow from operations, growth in earnings per share, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

On the negative front, Pacific Ethanol ( PEIX), down 6.0%, Valhi ( VHI), down 3.0%, CVR Partners ( UAN), down 2.8% and Methes Energies International ( MEIL), down 2.7% , were all laggards within the chemicals industry with Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan ( POT) being today's chemicals industry laggard.

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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