Coal Stocks Fall As Natural Gas Prices Dip
NEW YORK (AP) â¿¿ Coal stocks fell Wednesday as the price of natural gas dropped below $4, making the coal rival an attractive option to fire more power plants.
It's not easy to retool a power plant from one fuel to another, but many plants have both coal and natural gas burners, making it possible to switch back and forth depending on relative prices of the two fuels.
Historically, natural gas has been more expensive than coal, so it tends to be used mostly to meet electricity demand during peak hours. But if gas prices keep falling, power generators could decide to increase their use of gas.
In trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, natural gas fell 16.5 cents to $3.874 per 1,000 cubic feet.Shares of Peabody Energy Corp. fell 98 cents, or 2.3 percent, to close at $42.23, after earlier dropping as low as $40.79. Shares of Massey Energy Corp. dropped $1.02, or 3.4 percent, to finish at $29.14; Arch Coal Inc. lost 43 cents, or 2 percent, to $21.98; Alpha Natural Resources Inc. fell 89 cents, or 2.4 percent, to close at $36.44; and Consol Energy Inc. dipped 61 cents to finish at $32.15. Massey shares have continued to slide since the company disclosed earlier this week that it was cited by federal officials for improperly storing explosives in the West Virginia mine where 29 men died in an April explosion. The company has said there was no link between the explosives and the fatal accident.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass + 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV