3 Stocks Dragging The Chemicals Industry Downward

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All three major indices are trading up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 87 points (0.5%) at 16,266 as of Friday, Dec. 20, 2013, 11:55 AM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 2,274 issues advancing vs. 691 declining with 120 unchanged.

The Chemicals industry currently sits up 1.0% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.6%.

TheStreet would like to highlight 3 stocks pushing the industry lower today:

3. Airgas ( ARG) is one of the companies pushing the Chemicals industry lower today. As of noon trading, Airgas is down $0.91 (-0.8%) to $109.04 on average volume. Thus far, 192,958 shares of Airgas exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 335,500 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $106.76-$109.73 after having opened the day at $108.86 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $109.95.

Airgas, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, supplies industrial, medical and specialty gases, and hardgoods. The company operates through two business segments, Distribution and All Other Operations. Airgas has a market cap of $8.0 billion and is part of the basic materials sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 23.8, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 20.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 5 analysts that rate Airgas a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

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

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