US SMALL/MIDCAPS-Arch Coal hits energy; uranium shares gain

By Leah Schnurr

NEW YORK, Jan 29 (BestGrowthStock) – Disappointing earnings from
Arch Coal Inc dragged midcap energy shares lower on Friday,
while uranium stocks were lifted by expectations of higher
government loan guarantees for new nuclear reactors.

Miner Arch Coal (ACI.N: ) reported a sharp drop in quarterly
profit, short of analysts’ expectations. Its stock lost 14.14
percent to $21.07.

The wider S&P midcap energy index (.4GSPE: ) was down 3.5
percent, while Patriot Coal (PCX.N: ) shed 8.6 percent to $15.49.
For details, see [ID:nN29248516]

A rally in the U.S. dollar after better-than-expected
economic data also put pressure on resource companies and
commodity prices. Smaller companies are linked more closely to
changes in currency and commodity prices.

“Those earnings that are generated abroad are worth less
when the dollar rallies,” said Eric Marshall, director of
research at Hodges Capital Management in Dallas, Texas.

Uranium stocks got a boost after an administration official
said U.S. President Barack Obama’s budget proposal will triple
government loan guarantees for new nuclear reactors. Uranium
Energy Corp (UEC.A: ) gained 2.4 percent to $3.01.

Computer Programs & Systems (CPSI.O: ), a healthcare
information technology provider, skidded as much as 23 percent
after providing weaker-than-expected results and first-quarter
forecast. Its stock ended down 14.5 percent at $37.63.

Wilmington Trust Corp (WL.N: ) tumbled 14 percent to $13.12
after the midcap company reported a surprise quarterly loss on
losses on its investment securities portfolio and a rise in
nonperforming assets. [ID:nSGE60S0JU]

The S&P MidCap 400 index (.MID: ) fell 1.4 percent, while the
S&P SmallCap 600 index (.SML: ) slipped 0.9 percent. In
comparison, the benchmark S&P 500 (.SPX: ) was down 1 percent.

Both indexes broke a two-month run to end in the negative
for January, with the midcaps down 3.3 percent and the small
caps losing 3.5 percent.

Offsetting declines, marketing software service provider
Acxiom Corp (ACXM.O: ) gained 9.6 percent to $15.38 as lower
costs helped its quarterly results surpass Wall Street’s
expectations. [ID:nSGE60R0JD]

Stock Analysis

(Editing by Kenneth Barry)

US SMALL/MIDCAPS-Arch Coal hits energy; uranium shares gain