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Thursday's Energy Stocks: Pattern Energy down 5.54%, sector outsmarts Street

A recent surge in government bond yields spurred weary investors that resulted in a decline in broader market indexes on Thursday, Oct. 4. Most energy equities were not spared by the general sentiment.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 0.75% to close at 26,627.48, and the S&P 500 decreased 0.82% to finish at 2,901.61.

In the power generation business, Pattern Energy Group Inc. shares dropped 5.54% to finish the day at $19.11 on active volume; Ormat Technologies Inc. retreated 4.21% to wrap an average session at $52.36; TerraForm Power Inc. equity shrank 3.48% to close a light session at $11.36; and NextEra Energy Partners units trimmed off 3.35% to close at $46.80.

FirstEnergy Corp. CFO Steven Strah said the company has removed a significant overhang through its settlement with competitive generation subsidiary FirstEnergy Solutions Corp. and can now focus on long-term, regulated earnings growth. FirstEnergy shares popped 1.20% to close an average day at $37.14.

MDU Resources Group Inc. shares ticked up 0.98% on brisk trading to $25.81 after the company acquired Sweetman Construction Co., a provider of aggregates, asphalt and ready-mix concrete based in Sioux Falls, S.D.

Most other electric and diversified utilities saw gains on the day. Among them were Pinnacle West Capital Corp., whose shares rose 1.88% to finish at $80.25; PPL Corp., advancing 1.49% to $30.00; and SCANA Corp., up 1.20% to close at $38.76.

The S&P 500 Utilities Index finished the day outsmarting the general trend by growing 0.54% to 268.04.

In the midstream sector, Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. was among the top performers, with shares growing 3.03% to finish a robust session at $23.79.

Among other major players, NGL Energy Partners LP stock lost 4.63% to finish a below-average session at $11.12; Newfield Exploration Co. shares gave away 3.39%, closing at $28.52 on roughly average volume; and Valero Energy Corp. units slid 2.31% to $117.22 on below-average volume.

Continental Resources Inc. shares lost 3.66%, wrapping an above-average session at $69.16. The company's president, Jack Stark, said during an event that the Bakken Shale in the northern Plains has 30 billion to 40 billion barrels of recoverable oil, about four to five times as much as government estimates. He said the company has revised its estimates upward after examining the results of its wells and competitors.

Enbridge Income Fund Holdings Inc. shares gained 1.05% to close a light session on the Toronto Stock Exchange at C$32.73. The fund holding company suspended its ongoing program for reinvesting cash dividends into additional shares as a result of its parent Enbridge Inc.'s C$4.7 billion deal to roll up the company. Enbridge Inc. units inched up 0.33% to close at $33.90 on high volume.

The S&P 500 Energy Index slid 0.51% to 571.61, and the Alerian MLP Index shed 0.82% to wrap up at 279.28.

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