Chemical makers fall on DuPont weak results

The shares of a number of chemical companies fell Tuesday after DuPont Co., one of the largest in the industry, reported disappointing third-quarter earnings and said it will cut 1,500 jobs.

DuPont reported that it made $10 million, or a penny per share, for the quarter versus $452 million, or 48 cents per share, a year ago. After adjusting for one-time items, it earned 44 cents per share. That fell short of the 46 cents per share that analysts expected.

DuPont cited a number of reasons for the weak quarter, including softer demand for a specialty chemical and an unstable solar products market. The company said it will cut jobs and take other cost-cutting measures to increase its competitiveness.

DuPont helped send the broader market into a major dive. The Dow Jones industrial average was down nearly 2 percent in afternoon trading.

DuPont shares fell $4.46, or 9 percent, to $45.30 in afternoon trading. That puts it at the low-end of the 52-week trading range of $43.06 to $53.98.

Dow Chemical Co.'s shares fell $1.07, or 3.6 percent, to $28.67. Huntsman Corp. shares fell nearly 7 percent, down $1.07 to $14.61. And Kronos Worldwide Inc. shares fell 61 cents, or 4.2 percent, to $13.91.