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June 6, 2014

Chemical equity gains beat general stocks so far in 2014, ACC says

Scott Jenkins

The S&P index for chemical companies was up 8.5% from the beginning of 2014, while the wider and more diverse S&P 500 index was up 4.1% over the same time period, according to data discussed in the latest Weekly Chemistry and Economic Report from the American Chemistry Council (ACC; Washington, D.C.;
“Thus far this year, chemical equities have far outstripped the overall market on a year-over-year comparison basis,” the ACC report said.
During May, however, the S&P 500 rose 4.0% as the S&P index for chemical companies rose 2.1%.
The ACC weekly report also highlighted other economic data related to the U.S. chemical industry. For example, overall employment in the U.S. chemical industry rose by 2,200 jobs in May to reach a total of 800,100. The ACC report said the gain was “centered in production workers, which rose by 2,600 jobs during the month. Supervisory and non-production worker employment fell by 400 to 304,500 in May.”
Meanwhile, globally, the JP Morgan Global Manufacturing Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI) rose 0.3 points to 52.2, where a reading above 50 indicates expanding business activity. “The overall rate of improvement in business conditions remained modest,” the ACC report said.

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