Ever since last Wednesday's presidential debate, coal companies have been doing quite well. The Republican challenger, Gov. Mitt Romney, continued his vocal support for the heavily regulated industry. He continued to back the idea of increasing power generation in the U.S. using clean coal technology, as it is one of our most abundant natural resources. Some of the largest players in the U.S. coal industry are up over 7% in the past week: Arch Coal (NYSE:ACI) is up 7.58%, CONSOL Energy (NYSE:CNX) up 7.71%, Cliffs Natural Resources (NYSE:CLF) up 10.06%, and Alpha Natural Resources (NYSE:ANR) is up 10.08%.
This past week has been a prime example of the power the government can have over a specific company or sector's performance. Yesterday, while the market was slightly down as a whole, all four of these coal miners were up relatively big on the day. Last Friday, Gov. Romney spoke at a rally in Abingdon, VA, in which he was backed by a banner stating, "Coal Country Stands with Mitt." Should his ratings continue to rise, coal companies could follow right along with them. However, if pundits and polls rise in favor of President Obama, these companies could fall back to the levels they held prior to election season.
This is one industry whose long-term prospects are highly leveraged to the outcome of this November's presidential election. Stay tuned and manage your portfolios accordingly.
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