Here’s Why Coal Stocks Are Getting Beaten Now

With wider markets free-falling today, coal stocks (NYSE:KOL) have averaged nearly double the losses of the Dow and S&P today, off more than 9% in trading. The bad news for coal companies is being fueled by a number of weak earnings reports and falling energy prices across the board that suggest a weaker demand outlook in the near future. Walter Energy (NYSE:WLT) is leading the pack of swooning coal stocks, off over 29% as the closing bell nears. The company reported “disappointing earnings” yesterday that prompted quick downgrades from analysts. Alpha Natural Resources (NYSE:ANR) also came in with earnings that missed projected marks today, prompting a 17% decline in share price. Other coal stocks are moving lower in sympathy.

Here’s a look at a panel of coal stocks:

Walter Energy (NYSE:WLT): -29.50%, Alpha Natural Resources (NYSE:ANR): -17.07%, Peabody Energy Corp. (NYSE:BTU): -9.20%, Arch Coal Inc. (NYSE:ACI): -10.90%, Patriot Coal Co. (NYSE:PCX): -14.67%, CONSOL Energy Inc. (NYSE:CNX): -11.93%, and James River Coal Company (NASDAQ:JRCC): -11.97%.