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Tuesday's Energy Stocks: PG&E continues decline as broader markets gain

The stock price of California utility company PG&E Corp. continued its steep decline in trading Tuesday, Jan. 15, down 17.54% on more than 11x average trading volume to $6.91.

Together with its Pacific Gas and Electric Co. subsidiary, PG&E Corp. saw its credit ratings downgraded by all three major rating agencies after announcing their plans to seek Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

S&P Global Ratings downgraded the issuer credit ratings on the companies to CC from B; Moody's lowered their ratings to Ca-PD from B1-PD; and Fitch downgraded their long-term issuer default ratings to C from BBB-.

PG&E Corp.'s issues spilled over to another large California-headquartered utility company, Edison International, whose stock value declined 5.33% in brisk trading to $55.05.

Broader markets and most energy equities ended on a brighter note on Tuesday, Jan. 15, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average rising 0.65% to end at 24,065.59, and the S&P 500 climbing 1.07% to conclude the day at 2,610.30.

Among other electric and diversified utilities, AES Corp. gained 2.66% to finish at $15.44; American Electric Power Co. Inc. picked up 2.15% to end at $75.38; and Duke Energy Corp. added 1.77% to close at $85.14, all in below-average trading.

Duke Energy confirmed that it submitted an offer to acquire South Carolina state-owned utility Santee Cooper as lawmakers there evaluate strategic options for the company.

The S&P 500 Utilities Sector advanced 1.27% to close the day at 267.57.

In the oil and gas sector, shares of Crescent Point Energy Corp. declined 1.47% in active trading to end at $3.35, after the company announced that it will allocate $1.2 billion to $1.3 billion for its capital expenditures in 2019, down $500 million, or 30%, from 2018.

Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp. are expected to report a sequential drop in earnings for the final quarter of the year. Exxon inched up 0.06% to $71.67, and Chevron added 0.36% to $112.12, both on light volume.

Among master limited partnerships, Tallgrass Energy LP advanced 3.67% on light volume to end at $23.70; Phillips 66 Partners LP earned 3.13% in strong trading to close at $49.14; and EQM Midstream Partners LP finished up 4.47% on below-average volume to settle at $46.08.

The S&P 500 Energy Sector increased 0.30% to 458.80, and the Alerian MLP Index gained 1.82% to 247.25.

In the coal sector, Cloud Peak Energy Inc. shed 4.43% in robust trading to finish at 30 cents. The company's board of directors adopted a stockholder rights plan to protect its tax benefits from risks posed by changes in stock ownership.

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