NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Cliffs Natural Resources  (CLF) - Get Report closed down 3.7% to $4.94 on Friday as iron ore prices flirted with record lows.

The stock also hit a 52-week low of $4.80 earlier in the day.

Iron ore floated near a record low below $60 a ton on Friday, as weak buying interest among Chinese steel mills put the spot price on pace for a third consecutive weekly decline, according to Reuters.

Iron ore for immediate delivery to China's Tianjin port ticked up 0.4% to $57.90 a ton on Thursday, barely above the mark of $57.70 it touched on Wednesday. That $57.70 mark was the lowest level since The Steel Index began compiling prices in late 2008, Reuters noted.

Prices of the steel making ingredient have languished for months and have fallen almost 50% in the last year amid a global oversupply. Despite this, the world's major iron ore producers have been increasing production.

Insight from TheStreet's Research Team:

Bob Byrne commented on Cliffs Natural Resources in a recent post on Here is what Byrne had to say about the stock:

In the world of bottom-fishing stocks, few names have hurt traders worse than those in the coal and iron-ore sectors. I received several questions regarding Peabody Energy BTU and Cliffs Natural Resourceson Thursday, and while I tried to keep open mind, I just can't find a single reason to buy either stock. It doesn't matter whether you're looking at BTU, Alpha Natural Resources  (ANR) , Cloud Peak Energy  (CLD) - Get Report, or Walter Energy  (WLT) . From a technical perspective, they're all pretty much the same. Ugly! They should all be avoided. And as far as CLF is concerned, there's little to do there until iron ore futures begin to stabilize. For the record, iron ore futures were printing new multi-year lows on Wednesday. Like anything in the coal sector, CLF should be avoided.

- Bob Byrne, 'The Trader Daily' originally published on 3/13/2015 on

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Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates CLIFFS NATURAL RESOURCES INC as a Sell with a ratings score of D-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate CLIFFS NATURAL RESOURCES INC (CLF) a SELL. This is driven by some concerns, which we believe should have a greater impact than any strengths, and could make it more difficult for investors to achieve positive results compared to most of the stocks we cover. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its deteriorating net income, weak operating cash flow, generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself and feeble growth in its earnings per share."

You can view the full analysis from the report here: CLF Ratings Report