TEXT-S&P: U.S. natural resources sectors on different tracks

Oct 8 - Standard & Poor's today published its U.S. natural resources reportcard, titled "U.S. Natural Resources Split As Housing Boosts Building ProductsCompanies While A Tough Market Puts Coal Miners Deeper In The Hole," whichstates that the baseline outlook is predominantly stable for the U.S. naturalresources sector for the balance of 2012 and for 2013. "We hold this viewagainst a backdrop of a recovering U.S. housing market, weak domestic economicgrowth, and heightened economic uncertainty abroad," said Standard & Poor'scredit analyst James Fielding.

We expect most ratings to hold steady through 2013. However, companies thatcurrently maintain negative rating outlooks outnumber those that have positiveoutlooks by 3 to 1, highlighting the potential for downgrades to outnumberupgrades over the coming year. We believe many coal producers and a few metalscompanies face difficult industry conditions that are likely to underminetheir credit quality over the next several months.

The article goes on to explain that Standard & Poor's economists believe thatthe poor labor market is keeping the recovery in low gear, that coal producersand certain other metals and mining companies are not on the right track, thatforest products companies should continue to chug along slow and steady in2013, and that there's light at the end of the tunnel for U.S. buildingmaterials companies.

The report is available to subscribers of RatingsDirect on the Global CreditPortal at

. If you are not a RatingsDirectsubscriber, you may purchase a copy of the report by calling (1) 212-438-7280or sending an e-mail to research_request@standardandpoors.com. Ratingsinformation can also be found on Standard & Poor's public Web site by usingthe Ratings search box located in the left column at

.(New York Ratings Team)

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