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Albemarle ( ALB) pushed the Chemicals industry higher today making it today's featured chemicals winner. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.6%. By the end of trading, Albemarle rose $0.94 (1.5%) to $63.26 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 1,347,799 shares of Albemarle exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 726,700 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $62.13-$63.36 after having opened the day at $62.33 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $62.32. Other companies within the Chemicals industry that increased today were: Lightbridge ( LTBR), up 5.7%, Gulf Resources ( GURE), up 5.1%, Verenium Corporation ( VRNM), up 4.6% and Pacific Ethanol ( PEIX), up 4.5%.

Albemarle Corporation develops, manufactures, and markets engineered specialty chemicals. Albemarle has a market cap of $5.1 billion and is part of the basic materials sector. Shares are up 0.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 5 analysts that rate Albemarle a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 9 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Albemarle as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, good cash flow from operations, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity and increase in stock price during the past year. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook.

On the negative front, GSE ( GSE), down 39.3%, Axiall ( AXLL), down 16.8%, Senomyx ( SNMX), down 14.6% and CVR Partners ( UAN), down 6.9% , were all laggards within the chemicals industry with FMC Corporation ( FMC) 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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