NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Coal producers Walt Energy (WLT - Get Report), Peabody Energy (BTU - Get Report) and Alpha Natural Resources (ANR - Get Report) plummeted on sluggish January manufacturing data, sparking concerns an extended slowdown would hit the U.S. economy. By midafternoon, Walt Energy had dumped 7% to $10.57, Peabody had taken off 2.8% to $16.58, and Alpha Natural Resources had tumbled 6.3% to $5.32.
The S&P 500 had sunk 1.95% to 1,747.76 by Monday afternoon on the back of weak U.S. manufacturing data and poor auto sales.
Earlier, the Institute for Supply Management said manufacturing growth in the U.S. over January had dropped to 51.3 from 56.5 in December, an eight-month low. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg had expected an average of 56 over the month.
New order growth, meanwhile, fell by the most in 33 years to 51.2 from 64.4.Adding to concerns of a weakening national economy, Ford (F) and General Motors (GM) reported worse-than-expected auto sales over January. Ford said unit sales plummeted 7.1% to 154,000, while General Motors' unit sales sunk 12% to 171,000. The automakers blamed wintery weather and icy conditions over the last month for a lack of customers. WLT data by YCharts