With the better news on the job front, utilities are getting hit today, as interest rates are rising. FE included. The irony is, FE is one of the utilities with excess power generating ability, so it's one of the utilities that actually should benefit from a better economy as it has excess power to sell that it doesn't need for its own retail customers. Maybe eventually wall street will realize this.
Given what you said (and I think you are spot on) I would think the plant closings would actually be a positive. Employees unfortunately do lose out but the reduction in direct salary costs plus the latent pension costs should help FE's bottom line. As more companies elect the same path electricity costs will go up. At some junction the demand will return to a point where new investment in current technology will be justified.
I think that is the last 2 of the "dirty coal" plants that FE has in operation. With the close it will be all clean coal--nuke--nat gas
I still don't see why they cant retrofit old coal with gas fired gens and keep producing kw's
the overall age of plants might be the real story--maint/etc
you have to know when to say when