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Wednesday's Energy Stocks: Midstream, energy sector withstand broader selloff

A rally in midstream stocks managed to keep energy equities afloat on Wednesday, Dec. 21, despite a broader market selloff. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 0.16% to 19,941.96 and the S&P 500 slid 0.25% to 2,265.18 while the SNL Energy Index moved up 0.33% to 281.08.

EnLink Midstream Partners LP edged up 3.91% in brisk trading to $17.79 and EnLink Midstream LLC rose 3.84% in below-average trading to $18.95 after agreeing to a pair of asset divestitures totaling $275 million. The proceeds from these noncore divestitures represent about 16 times the assets' projected 2017 adjusted EBITDA contributions of $17 million to EnLink.

Sunoco LP advanced 6.32% on strong volume to end at $23.54, Southwestern Energy Co. gained 5.78% in active trading to close at $10.98 and Western Refining Logistics LP earned 5.13% on light volume to settle at $20.50. The SNL Midstream Energy Index increased 1.37% to 120.36.

Power producers, meanwhile, posted the biggest losses for the day, as the SNL Merchant Generator Index shed 0.82% to 81.01. TerraForm Global Inc. saw a 2.60% rise in shares to finish at $3.95 after filing its 2015 financial results as part of its efforts to regain regulatory compliance. The company reported 2015 fourth-quarter adjusted EBITDA of $40 million, a net loss of $254 million, net operating revenue of $51 million, and cash available for distribution of $38 million.

Atlantic Power Corp. lost 2.29% in weak trading to close at C$3.41 after announcing plans with Atlantic Power Preferred Equity Ltd. to repurchase certain securities under their normal course issuer bids through a predefined automatic securities purchase plan with their broker. The automatic securities purchase plan will commence Dec. 29, 2016, and will expire Dec. 28, 2017, or at an earlier date when the companies complete their respective purchases.

Among other merchant companies, First Solar Inc. retreated 3.68% to settle at $33.20 while 8point3 Energy Partners LP slid 1.65% to close at $13.14, both on thin volume.

In coal territory, Peabody Energy Corp. gained 0.34% in over-the-counter trading to finish at $8.75, after reporting a net loss of $161.6 million in November as the company continues to work through a bankruptcy reorganization. The company reported sales of $419.6 million for the month. Reported operating expenses were $377.4 million.

Rhino Resource Partners LP spiked 6.36% to $4.68, Natural Resource Partners LP picked up 1.59% to $35.20 and Cloud Peak Energy Inc. climbed 1.38% to $5.86, all in light trading. The SNL Coal Index ended 0.24% higher to 80.31.

After shedding 27.7 cents in the prior four trading sessions, front-month January 2017 natural gas futures rebounded Wednesday, gaining all of it and then some back in one day of bargain buying and short covering ahead of the upcoming release of the latest round of weekly storage data. Moving from $3.307/MMBtu to $3.549/MMBtu on the day, the contract settled the midweek session at $3.542/MMBtu, soaring 27.9 cents.

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