When one of the oldest, most diversified companies in the United States releases less than stellar earnings, it tends to have an impact on the entire market. That's exactly what happened in today's trading, when DuPont displayed a 9% drop in sales versus the same quarter in 2011. Citing lower Chinese infrastructure spending, the company missed analysts' $8.15 billion revenue estimate by $750 million.

To address these poor results, DuPont will trim 2% of its workforce in a restructuring program aimed at improving productivity, competitiveness, and growth. Savings of $450 million are expected to be realized, with $100 million coming in 2012 and the remainder in 2013. These cuts are one of the more drastic measures we've seen a company take so far this earnings season.

The company's individual divisions had mixed reviews, and their performance could be telling for more specialized chemical companies that aren't nearly as diverse and might not be able to absorb such negative impacts as DuPont is able to do. Two companies that come to mind are Kronos Worldwide (NYSE:KRO) and Huntsman (NYSE:HUN).

See more in the following video.