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Alpha Natural Resources ( ANR) pushed the Metals & Mining industry lower today making it today's featured Metals & Mining laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.7%. By the end of trading, Alpha Natural Resources fell $0.14 (-2.5%) to $5.37 on average volume. Throughout the day, 12,116,561 shares of Alpha Natural Resources exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 12,105,700 shares. The stock ranged in price between $5.28-$5.68 after having opened the day at $5.49 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $5.51. Other companies within the Metals & Mining industry that declined today were: China Gengsheng Minerals ( CHGS), down 19.6%, Prospect Global Resources ( PGRX), down 10.1%, Uranium Resources ( URRE), down 9.4% and Pacific Booker Minerals ( PBM), down 8.5%.

Alpha Natural Resources, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, engages in extracting, processing, and marketing steam and metallurgical coal in Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and Wyoming. Alpha Natural Resources has a market cap of $1.3 billion and is part of the basic materials sector. Shares are down 39.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 9 analysts that rate Alpha Natural Resources a buy, 3 analysts rate it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Alpha Natural Resources as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity, poor profit margins, weak operating cash flow and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

On the positive front, Crosshair Energy ( CXZ), up 13.2%, Quest Rare Minerals ( QRM), up 12.9%, International Tower Hill Mines ( THM), up 11.9% and Alderon Iron Ore ( AXX), up 11.6% , were all gainers within the metals & mining industry with Vale ( VALE) being today's featured metals & mining industry leader.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the metals & mining industry could consider SPDR S&P Metals & Mining ETF ( XME) while those bearish on the metals & mining industry could consider PowerShares DB Base Metals Sht ETN ( BOS).

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