Broader markets ended their winning streak and closed the midweek trading with slight declines, while energy equities recorded sector-wide gains on Wednesday, Dec. 18.
After recording gains most of the trading day, the Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 0.10% to 28,239.28, and the S&P 500 settled 0.04% lower to 3,191.14.
Chesapeake Energy Corp. rose 10.25% on strong volume to 90 cents, after it increased the exchange amount of 11.5% senior secured second-lien notes in its previously announced private offers for certain outstanding Chesapeake senior unsecured notes.
Devon Energy Corp. rose 2.19% in brisk trading to $24.70, following the announcement that it will sell its assets in the Barnett Shale to an affiliate of Kalnin Ventures LLC's investment vehicle for $770 million. The deal, which includes over 320,000 gross acres and 4,200 producing wells, would also make BKV the largest natural gas producer in the Barnett Shale.
Matador Resources Co. shares lifted 2.05% on light volume to $16.94. The company secured 14 drilling permits for its Stateline asset area in southern Eddy County, N.M.
Tourmaline Oil Corp. shed 1.16% in above-average trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange to close at C$14.51. The company confirmed its 2020 production guidance at 315,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day to 320,000 boe/d on a capital program of C$925.0 million. Tourmaline is also expecting 2020 free cash flow to come in at C$345.0 million using strip commodity pricing.
Master limited partnerships led the rally in the energy sector and among the biggest gainers, Antero Midstream Corp. added 5.54% on strong volume to $6.67; EQM Midstream Partners LP gained 3.88% on average volume to $27.29; and Genesis Energy LP saw a 3.74% increase in strong trading to $20.78.
In other oil and gas stocks, Range Resources Corp. advanced 3.80% in slightly below-average trading to $4.92; EQT Corp. climbed 3.26% on about average volume to $10.14; and EOG Resources Inc. added 2.26% on heavy volume to $80.59.
The S&P 500 Energy Sector was up 0.30% to 448.83, and the Alerian MLP Index closed 1.17% higher to 218.49.
PG&E Corp. shares were up 3.67% on brisk volume to $11.31 after a federal judge approved major settlements with wildfire victims and insurance companies totaling $24.5 billion. In explaining his approval of the settlement, opposed by bondholders because it obligates wildfire victims to support PG&E's plan, the judge presiding over the joint cases in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of California in San Francisco said his decision was aligned with a majority of wildfire victims who told their attorneys to shift their backing to PG&E.
TransAlta Corp. traded 3.04% higher on strong volume on the TSX to close at C$9.15. The company raised its 2019 free cash flow guidance to a range of C$350 million to C$380 million, from the previous range of C$300 million to C$340 million, to reflect the continued strong performance of its energy marketing segment in the fourth quarter of 2019.
PNM Resources Inc. finished 0.59% higher in heavy trading to $51.55, after it announced an ongoing guidance of $2.16 to $2.26 per diluted share for 2020.
Just Energy Group Inc. slid 5.17% in light trading on the TSX to end at C$2.20. Just Energy filed a short-form base prospectus for the potential sale of up to C$1 billion of securities.
Among other electric and diversified utilities, CenterPoint Energy Inc. gained 1.67% in active trading to $26.85; AES Corp. rose 1.32% on double average volume to $19.17; and Pinnacle West Capital Corp. earned 1.11% on light volume to $88.57.
The S&P 500 Utilities Sector advanced 0.43% to 325.89.
Coal shares also finished higher, with Alliance Resource Partners LP closing 6.29% higher to $11.16; CNX Resources Corp. rising 3.05% to $8.46; and Arch Coal Inc. adding 1.56% to $75.04, all on light volume.
Market prices and index values are current as of the time of publication and are subject to change.