A sharp rise in oil prices and strong holiday sales results drove markets into rallying Wednesday, Dec. 26, as stocks try to mend the worst Christmas Eve plunge in history.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 4.98% to 22,878.45, recording its largest single-day point gain, and the S&P 500 rose 4.96% to close the day at 2,467.70.
The oil and gas sector was buoyed by a strong surge in oil prices. The S&P 500 Energy Index jumped 6.24% to 423.26, and the Alerian MLP Index hiked 5.38% to 223.71. Brent Crude Oil price increased 8.86% to $54.94 per barrel and light sweet crude price ramped up 9.59% to $46.61 per barrel.
Major players such as Newfield Exploration Co., Marathon Oil Corp. and Hess Corp. saw their shares jump during the midweek session.
Newfield's shares soared 12.54% to $14.54, Marathon Oil stock rallied 11.93% to close at $14.17, and Hess shares leaped 11.03% to $40.45 all on solid volumes.
Oil major Royal Dutch Shell PLC saw its class A shares advance 4.04% to $57.70 and class B units gain 4.27% to close at $59.12, both on roughly average volumes. Shell's Prelude floating LNG facility offshore Australia has opened wells to begin production.
Separately, Shell Midstream Partners LP finalized a partnership agreement with Shell that will waive $50 million of incentive distribution rights, freeing up cash for future growth investments. Shell Midstream's stock grew 4.21% to close at $17.57 on high volume.
Oil and gas major Exxon Mobil Corp. saw a 4.78% spike in its share price, reaching $68.64 on brisk trading. Research vessel Ramform Tethys, which was conducting seismic work for Exxon Mobil in Guyanese waters, was intercepted by the Venezuelan navy Dec. 22.
Enbridge Inc. shares on the NYSE added 3.56% to $30.26 after it and Enbridge Income Fund Holdings Inc. completed an exchange of outstanding Enbridge Income Fund medium-term notes for the same amount of new Enbridge medium-term notes as part of Enbridge's simplification of its corporate structure.
Major gas utility New Jersey Resources Corp.'s shares increased 0.97% to $44.65 on roughly average volume. The company began a four-month revolving line of credit providing for $100 million in borrowings.
Among electric and diversified utilities, Moody's revised its negative ratings outlooks on Dominion Energy Inc. and SCANA Corp. following a decision by South Carolina regulators to approve the pending $14.7 billion merger between the companies. Dominion shares were up 1.66% to $72.30 on strong volume, and SCANA's stock ticked up 1.61% to $47.91 on light volume.
Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp.'s shares on the NYSE hiked 1.02% to close an average session at $9.93. Missouri regulators have set a public hearing for late January 2019 to consider Algonquin subsidiary Empire District Electric Co.'s plan to add 600 MW of wind energy capacity to its power generation portfolio.
Among major sector entities, Pattern Energy Group Inc. picked up 6.51% to $18.66, NRG Energy Inc. gained 5.13% to $38.10, Edison International shares moved 3.44% up to $56.20, and AES Corp. stock added 3.33% to $14.28. MGE Energy Inc., meanwhile, dropped 3.24% to $60.09 on more than triple average volume.
The S&P 500 Utilities Index climbed 1.56% to 265.79.
Market prices and index values are current as of the time of publication and are subject to change.