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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 2.2%. By the end of trading, Alpha Natural Resources fell $0.11 (-2.1%) to $5.06 on average volume. Throughout the day, 12,221,247 shares of Alpha Natural Resources exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 11,888,200 shares. The stock ranged in price between $5.04-$5.24 after having opened the day at $5.17 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $5.17. Other companies within the Metals & Mining industry that declined today were: Silvercorp Metals ( SVM), down 12.7%, Atlatsa Resources ( ATL), down 8.5%, James River Coal Company ( JRCC), down 3.9% and Alderon Iron Ore ( AXX), down 3.7%.

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 $1.1 billion and is part of the basic materials sector. Shares are down 27.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 4 analysts that rate Alpha Natural Resources a buy, 4 analysts rate it a sell, and 10 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 unimpressive growth in net income, weak operating cash flow, generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself and feeble growth in its earnings per share.

On the positive front, Mines Management ( MGN), up 25.0%, China Gengsheng Minerals ( CHGS), up 17.9%, Great Panther Silver ( GPL), up 17.1% and Timberline Resources Corporation ( TLR), up 15.3% , were all gainers within the metals & mining industry with Goldcorp ( GG) 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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