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Friday's Energy Stocks: Strong jobs report, trade optimism lift US markets

Wall Street markets closed the final session of the workweek Friday, Dec. 6, on the upside following strong jobs report for November as well as optimism on U.S.-China trade negotiations.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that total nonfarm payroll employment in the U.S. spiked 266,000 jobs in November, up significantly from consensus economist estimates that had been in the 180,000-185,000 range.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.22% to 28,015.06, and the S&P 500 closed at 3,145.91, increasing by 0.91%.

Oil and gas companies were supported by higher oil prices, with West Texas Intermediate up 1.10% to $59.07 per barrel. The S&P 500 Energy Sector added 2.00% to 437.91, and the Alerian MLP Index noted a 0.69% gain to 199.99.

Notable movers included Apache Corp., which rose 7.59% in above-average trading to $19.99. Range Resources Corp. noted a 6.65% increase in below-average trading to $3.85. Helmerich & Payne Inc. gained 5.28% on below-average volume to $40.68.

Halliburton Co. posted a 4.25% increase in active trading to $22.33 following reports that the company started a round of layoffs at its Bakersfield plant in California.

Parex Resources Inc. noted a 3.16% increase in light trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange to C$20.25. The company was awarded two blocks during a Colombian oil auction.

Chevron Corp. added 1.44% in active trading to $118.01. The Canada Energy Regulator granted subsidiary Chevron Canada Ltd. approval to export LNG to a natural gas liquefaction terminal near Kitimat, British Columbia, for a term of 40 years.

McDermott International Inc., Chiyoda International Corp. and Zachry Group announced that Train 2 of the Freeport LNG project on Quintana Island in Freeport, Texas, has started LNG production. McDermott shares were down 1.62% on below-average volume to 80.1 cents per share.

Looking at midstream and pipeline partnerships, Genesis Energy LP added 1.82% to $18.50; DCP Midstream LP saw its units increase by 1.74% to $21.00; and Plains All American Pipeline LP noted a 1.65% increase to $17.30, all on below-average volume. Conversely, Phillips 66 Partners LP shed 1.13% in light trading to close at $54.97.

South Jersey Industries Inc. added 1.08% in brisk trading to $30.99. The company, through its Marina Energy LLC unit, agreed to sell its Marina thermal facility to DTE Energy Co. subsidiary DTE Energy Services Inc. for $100 million. DTE Energy's shares shed 0.10% on lower-than-average volume to settle at $125.23.

Electric and diversified utilities bucked the general uptrend with the S&P 500 Utilities Sector settling at 319.12, down 0.22%.

Losses were noted at PG&E Corp. which shed 1.33% in below-average trading to $9.65. Eversource Energy saw a 1.17% decline in active trading to $81.20. Sempra Energy lost 1.05% in average trading and closed the week at $145.84. On the other hand, CenterPoint Energy Inc. nudged higher by 0.93% on below-average volume to exit the workweek at $25.02.

Also, Vistra Energy Corp. declined 1.47% to $24.09 on heavy volume.

Among solar companies, Sunrun Inc. rose 3.10% to $13.62; Canadian Solar Inc. added 2.29% to $18.35 and shares of SunPower Corp. increased by 2.19% to $7.24, all on below-average volume.

In the coal sector, Peabody Energy Corp. noted a 4.33% gain in active trading to $9.63. CNX Resources Corp. closed 4.23% higher to $6.90 and Arch Coal Inc. shares increased 2.02% to $75.25, both on lower-than-average volume. Alliance Resource Partners LP ran the other way and shed 1.08% in near-average volume to settle at $10.11.

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