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Wednesday's Energy Stocks: Broader selloff sends sector equities tumbling

A selloff in the broader markets sent energy equities careening into the negative side of the ledger on Wednesday, Dec. 28. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid further away from the 20,000 mark, closing down 0.56% to 19,833.68, while the S&P 500 retreated 0.84% to 2,249.92.

The SNL Energy Index fell even harder, ending the session 1.04% lower to 280.67. Among the hardest hit, power producers relinquished previous-day gains as the SNL Merchant Generator Index ebbed 1.22% to 81.88. Maxim Power Corp. plunged 20.65% in almost 10 times the average trading to close at C$2.92, Atlantic Power Corp. shed 3.85% on below-average volume to finish at $2.50 and First Solar Inc. dropped 3.50% in light trading to end at $32.80.

In midstream space, Shell Midstream Partners LP slipped 0.45% on average volume to settle at $28.85, following its acquisition of interests in three BP plc pipelines in the Gulf of Mexico.

The master limited partnership bought a 10% interest in the Proteus Oil Pipeline Co. LLC, which connects the Thunder Horse and Thunder Hawk platforms in the Mississippi Canyon to shore; a 10% stake in Endymion Oil Pipeline Co. LLC, a crude oil pipeline connecting Mississippi Canyon to Louisiana Offshore Oil Port Services' Clovelly storage tank farm; and a 1% stake in BP's Cleopatra Gas Gathering Co. LLC, a system in the Southern Green Canyon portion of the Gulf connected to the Holstein, Atlantis, Neptune, Shenzi and Mad Dog platforms.

Plains GP Holdings LP gave back 2.02% in weak trading to finish at $34.87, after striking an agreement with a consortium of banks to act as sales agents in selling up to $500 million in class A shares from time to time. Net proceeds from any sale of the shares would be used for general partnership purposes, such as debt repayment, acquisitions, CapEx and additions to working capital, according to a Dec. 27 SEC filing.

AmeriGas Partners LP picked up 1.02% on thin volume to close at $47.77, after receiving valid tenders totaling $799.1 million by the early participation cutoff for its $500 million tender offer to exchange cash for senior notes. Due to the oversubscription, the partnership accepted tendered 7.00% senior notes due 2022 for purchase on a 62.7% prorated basis.

The SNL Midstream Energy Index moved back 1.05% to 121.08.

In the coal territory, Natural Resource Partners LP tumbled 2.82% in weak trading to $32.75, Alliance Resource Partners LP declined 3.42% to $22.60, while CNX Coal Resources LP stepped back 4.12% on above-average volume to $18.60. The SNL Coal Index edged down 1.37% to 79.99.

January 2017 natural gas futures reversed early profit-taking losses to extend its rally into expiration at the close of business Wednesday, Dec. 28. Stopping just shy of $4/MMBtu at an intraday high of $3.994/MMBtu, a level not seen since November 2014, the contract finished its run 16.9 cents higher on the day at $3.930/MMBtu.

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