This has been a year to forget in many ways, but stock prices at some materials firms are showing signs of improvement.
As of early trading Oct. 21, per-share prices at five of the 15 firms tracked by Plastics News were higher than they were on Jan. 1. Chemours Corp. led the way with a gain of almost 28 percent, closely followed by Kraton Performance Polymers with an increase of almost 26 percent.
Shareholders in Eastman Chemical enjoyed a price gain of almost 15 percent in the same comparison, with per-share prices at Huntsman Corp. up almost 8 percent and at Westlake Chemical Corp. up more than 3 percent.
Prices since Jan. 1 were down at the remaining 10 tracked by PN, but those slides weren't as bad as they were a few months ago. Celanese Corp.'s per-share price was down less than one percent and prices at DuPont Co., Dow Inc., Trinseo and Avient Corp. (formerly PolyOne) were off 2-8 percent.
Per-share price declines of 11-16 percent were seen at Cabot Corp., AdvanSix, Rogers Corp. and LyondellBasell Industries. And 2020 can't end soon enough for composites maker Hexcel Corp. which has suffered through a price plunge of almost 57 percent.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down almost 2 percent between Jan. 1 and late trading Oct. 26, while the broader S&P 500 was up more than 8 percent in that same time period.