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Wednesday's Energy Stocks: Markets close midweek trading on a positive note

Electric and diversified utilities, as well as oil and gas companies, capped the midweek trading day with gains on Wednesday, March 13, tracking the general upward trend in broader markets. The Dow Jones Industrial Average saw a 0.58% increase to close at 25,702.89, and the S&P 500 added 0.69% to conclude at 2,810.92.

District attorneys for Napa, Humboldt, Sonoma and Lake counties in California decided not to file criminal charges against Pacific Gas and Electric Co. in relation to the October 2017 wildfires in Northern California. Parent company PG&E Corp. closed the day 1.25% up on below-average volume to $19.46.

Public Service Enterprise Group Inc. added 0.64% in brisk trading to finish at $59.51. One of its subsidiaries asked U.S. regulators for more time to decide whether two of its nuclear plants will participate in the PJM Interconnection's next capacity auction.

MDU Resources Group Inc. shares were down 1.97% to $25.74 on nearly double average volume.

Sunworks Inc. shed 7.55% on heavy volume to close at 49 cents, after reporting fourth-quarter 2018 adjusted EBITDA of $467,000, compared to a loss of $2.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Among other solar companies, SunPower Corp. added 2.19% to settle at $6.53; Vivint Solar Inc. rose 2.04% to finish at $5.01; and First Solar Inc. picked up 1.45% to end at $54.71, all in below-average trading.

The S&P 500 Utilities Sector picked up a 0.15% gain to 294.43.

In the oil and gas sector, Royal Dutch Shell PLC plans to become the largest electricity company in the world by 2035, a company executive told the Financial Times in a March 13 article while at the CERAWeek conference in Houston. Shell's class A common shares climbed 2.69% in brisk trading to close at $62.99.

ConocoPhillips advanced 2.62% in robust trading to $67.35; Marathon Oil Corp. edged up 2.49% on below-average volume to $17.32; and Devon Energy Corp. closed 1.98% higher on strong volume to $29.33.

Antero Resources Corp. was up 1.96% in active trading to finish at $8.33.

The company received $297 million in cash and a 31% ownership stake in the newly formed Antero Midstream Corp., the emerging entity after the closing of the simplification deal between Antero Midstream Partners LP and Antero Midstream GP LP.

The S&P 500 Energy Sector climbed 1.09% to 484.96, while the Alerian MLP Index dipped 0.04% to 251.25.

Rhino Resource Partners LP declined 5.60% in over-the-counter trading to close at $1.40, after it reported net loss of $5.6 million, or 49 cents per unit, in the 2018 fourth quarter, compared with a loss of $18.7 million, or $1.45 per unit, in the prior-year period.

Hallador Energy Co. retreated 1.43% in active trading to end at $5.52. The company raised its 2019 sales guidance to 8.2 million tons from 7.3 million, after its subsidiary Sunrise Coal Co. LLC contracted 12 million tons in additional coal sales from 2019 to 2022.

Market prices and index values are current as of the time of publication and are subject to change.