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The market was up across the board today, as the S&P 500 Index (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC ) added 13 points, or about 0.9%, to close at 1,555. Despite the gains, stocks still had their worst week thus far in the year, slipping 2%. Still, three S&P stocks, in particular, stuck with the theme of, well, losing.
Peabody Energy (NYSE: BTU ) ended as one of the worst stocks of the day, dropping 6.2%. Not only did the coal miner post losses in the first quarter, but the results of a major study by ExxonMobil also may have dinged the company. The results actually beat estimates, but the Exxon study damaged the coal industry, in general, showing that fracked natural gas is safer for the environment, emissions-wise, than coal.
Earnings weren't the catalyst behind Dell's (UNKNOWN: DELL.DL ) fall today, although it did slip 3.9%. But the news from the company today was even more material than earnings: Buyouts of the company by private equity group Blackstone Group LP, as well as an offer from famed investor Carl Icahn, are both likely to fall through. Clearly, this retraction of interest could be a bad omen for both shareholders and the company itself; the PC market just suffered through its worst year-over-year sales decline of all time.
Lastly, information technology, as an industry, didn't do well Friday, and EMC (NYSE: EMC ) suffered for it, as shares slipped 3.8%. Although EMC doesn't report until next Wednesday, the data storage device provider took a major hit after industry leader International Business Machines fell more than 8% on a disappointing quarter. IBM's disappointment had a lot to do with a weak Japanese yen, so it remains to be seen how relevant that aspect of things will be to EMC's results.
The coal industry in the United States has been in a state of flux since the arrival of a cheaper alternative for energy production: natural gas. Exports are becoming a much bigger part of the domestic coal landscape, and Peabody Energy has deals in place to get its cheaper coal from the Powder River and Illinois basins to India, China, and the EU. For investors looking to capitalize on a rebound in the U.S. coal market, The Motley Fool has authored a special new premium report detailing exactly why Peabody Energy is perhaps most worthy of your consideration. Don't miss out on this invaluable resource -- simply click here now to claim your copy today.