Dear Valued Visitor,

We have noticed that you are using an ad blocker software.

Although advertisements on the web pages may degrade your experience, our business certainly depends on them and we can only keep providing you high-quality research based articles as long as we can display ads on our pages.

To view this article, you can disable your ad blocker and refresh this page or simply login.

We only allow registered users to use ad blockers. You can sign up for free by clicking here or you can login if you are already a member.

Cliffs Natural Resources Inc (CLF), Peabody Energy Corporation (BTU): Blame Steel, Coal, and Gold for the S&P’s Biggest 2013 Losers

Cliffs Natural Resources Inc (NYSE:CLF)Investors in the S&P 500 have to be pleased about the index’s strong performance so far in 2013, with gains of about 13% marking the benchmark’s best performance this millennium. But as a broadly diversified index, the S&P 500 has its share of losers as well as winners, and so far this year, the blame for the losing contingent of S&P stocks falls squarely on the shoulders of commodities-related companies. Let’s take a close look at the three stocks in the S&P 500 that have lost at least a third of their value so far in 2013, and find out whether they have a realistic chance at recovering some of their lost ground during the remainder of the year.

CLF Total Return Price Chart

S&P Total Return Price data by YCharts.

Sinking like steel
The worst performer so far this year is Cliffs Natural Resources Inc (NYSE:CLF), which plunged 57% in the first six months of 2013. The producer of iron ore and metallurgical coal has suffered from the big drop in demand for steel production, as key users like China and other emerging markets have seen their economies slow and the pace of their construction and infrastructure projects decelerate recently. Recent news of summer layoffs and the need for it to temporarily idle its Wabush Scully mine in Labrador because of forest fires are just the latest in a series of shutdowns and other measures that Cliffs Natural Resources Inc (NYSE:CLF) has taken to try to stem the bleeding that required the company to slash its dividend by more than 75% earlier this year.

Cold like coal
Similar trends pushed coal producer Peabody Energy Corporation (NYSE:BTU) down 45%. Coal producers have faced a number of challenges lately. Low natural-gas prices have made coal less desirable as a fuel for power production and other bulk needs, and an adverse regulatory environment in the U.S. has pushed most coal producers to turn to the export markets as their best source of potential demand. Yet as China’s economy has slowed, Peabody Energy Corporation (NYSE:BTU) in particular reaps less benefit from its strategically located reserves in Western Australia. Unless natural gas recovers all of its losses and makes coal more attractive, Peabody Energy Corporation (NYSE:BTU) could continue to see pressure.

DOWNLOAD FREE REPORT: Warren Buffett's Best Stock Picks

Let Warren Buffett, George Soros, Steve Cohen, and Daniel Loeb WORK FOR YOU.

If you want to beat the low cost index funds by 19 percentage points per year, look no further than our monthly newsletter.In this free report you can find an in-depth analysis of the performance of Warren Buffett's entire historical stock picks. We uncovered Warren Buffett's Best Stock Picks and a way to for Buffett to improve his returns by more than 4 percentage points per year.

Bonus Biotech Stock Pick: You can also find a detailed bonus biotech stock pick that we expect to return more than 50% within 12 months.
Subscribe me to Insider Monkey's Free Daily Newsletter
This is a FREE report from Insider Monkey. Credit Card is NOT required.