N America chems soar as Dow Jones Industrial Average rises 280 pts

11 August 2011 17:20  [Source: ICIS news]

US stocks riseHOUSTON (ICIS)--North American chemical stocks soared on Thursday, with one company rising more than 20%, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose by 280.40 points.

The index reached 11,000.34 as of 12:07 hours New York time (16:07 GMT), up 2.62%.

The jump followed a report issued by the US Department of Labor, which showed that unemployment claims for the week ending 6 August fell 7,000 to reach 395,000.

The figure is seasonally adjusted.

The four-week moving average was 405,000, down 3,250 from the previous week's revised average of 408,250, the department said.

The rise in the Dow Jones sent several chemical stocks soaring. In the past few days, chemical stocks have been outperforming the average during its wild swings up and down.

No chemical companies followed by ICIS fell.

Butadiene (BD) producer TPC Group gained the most, rising 21%. The jump followed the company's release of its second-quarter earnings, which showed a 138% rise in net income.

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) producer Georgia Gulf rose nearly 12% and specialty chemicals producer Ferro rose 10%.

Base-oils producer Calumet rose nearly 8%.

Among the majors, Dow Chemical rose by 1% and DuPont rose by nearly 4% on Thursday.

Industrial gasses producer Praxair gained 3% and fertilizer producer PotashCorp rose by nearly 6%.

Thursday was another day of huge swings on the stock market.

On Wednesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 10,719.94, down 4.62%.

It posted a huge 430-point gain on Tuesday.

On Monday the Dow Jones fell 635 points or 5.55%. Chemical stocks suffered even steeper declines, with several posting drops of more than 10%.

On Thursday last week, the Dow fell nearly 513 points.

Both days were the worst for the index since December 2008, when it fell 680 points.

Paul Hodges studies key influencers shaping the chemical industry in Chemicals and the Economy

By: Al Greenwood
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