These three chemical giants were some of the most cyclical stocks around, he said, until it became clear that the U.S. was losing some of its competitive edge to countries who could produce commodities more cheaply overseas. Right away, DuPont and PPG took action.
DuPont made aggressive moves to become more of an industrial company focused on high value-added products, rather than remain the primarily basic chemical company it was before. The firm invented crop protection products like Rynaxypyr and Dermacor to keep insects and pests away from important seeds and crops. DuPont is also the brand behind Kevlar body armor, the flame-resistant Nomex material worn by firemen and Solamet, a paste that increases the efficiency of solar cells.