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Friday's Energy Stocks: SCANA shares jump after merger approval

SCANA Corp. shares jumped 6.30% to $50.98 on about 4x average volume in trading Friday, Dec. 14, after South Carolina regulators approved the company's acquisition by Dominion Energy Inc. in a stock-for-stock deal valued at about $7.9 billion.

The approval is subject to certain conditions including lower cost recovery for the abandoned V.C. Summer nuclear plant expansion.

Dominion separately completed a series of transactions involving the sale of noncore assets. Its shares gained 1.14% to $76.92 in active trading.

Broader markets and the energy sector as a whole saw declines in the final trading day of the week, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average off 2.02% to 24,100.51 and the S&P 500 retreating 1.91% to 2,599.95.

Among other electric and diversified utilities, PG&E Corp. shares settled 1.89% down on brisk volume to $26.01. More than half of its subsidiary Pacific Gas and Electric Co.'s just-filed, $1 billion-plus rate increase application for 2020 would go to prevent wildfires, reduce risks and improve safety.

Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. plans to offer 12,536,350 common shares for gross proceeds of approximately C$172.5 million. The company's stock price declined 2.34% in above-average trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange to close at $14.17.

Alliant Energy Corp. shares dropped 1.73% to $45.32 on more than 4x average volume a trading day after the company announced an offering of $326 million of common shares.

The S&P 500 Utilities Sector dipped 0.26% to 286.28.

In the oil and gas sector, Phillips 66 declined 2.25% on about average trading volume to end at $86.83, after announcing a $2.89 billion capital spending program for 2019, consisting of $1.88 billion of growth capital and $1.01 billion of sustaining capital.

Its master limited partnership Phillips 66 Partners LP closed 0.53% higher on strong volume to $47.31.

Pioneer Natural Resources Co. was down 1.05% in active trading to finish at $137.14, after it authorized a buyback of $2 billion of company stock, or approximately 8% of all outstanding shares.

Among other sector components, Range Resources Corp. dropped 8.42% on heavy volume to close at $11.74; Newfield Exploration Co. shed 6.61% in below-average trading to finish at $14.70; and Schlumberger Ltd. retreated 4.68% in brisk trading to close at $39.10.

Suncor Energy Inc. closed down 3.52% on about average volume to $29.59, followings plans to have 2019 capital expenditures of between C$4.90 billion and C$5.60 billion, in line with the prior-year budget despite government-mandated production cuts.

The S&P 500 Energy Sector lost 2.38% to 455.93, and the Alerian MLP Index dipped 0.99% to 243.10.

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