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Thursday's Energy Stocks: Broader markets regain footing, utilities advance

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Thursday's Energy Stocks: Broader markets regain footing, utilities advance

Broader markets regained their footing Thursday, Aug. 15, erasing slight losses earlier in the day and recovering from the 3% slide in the previous session.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.39% to finish at 25,579.39, and the S&P 500 saw an increase of 0.25% to close at 2,847.60.

In the energy sector, electric and diversified utilities greatly outpaced other equities as the S&P 500 Utilities Sector finished 1.26% higher to 308.83. Oil and gas stocks closed lower.

PG&E Corp. shed 9.67% on brisk volume to settle at $14.39. A court-appointed monitor claimed in a report that utility subsidiary Pacific Gas and Electric Co. is lacking efforts to trim down thousands of trees near power lines that could ignite wildfires.

Most other sector participants tallied gains. CMS Energy Corp. moved up 2.51% on strong volume to close at $61.27; Dominion Energy Inc. advanced 2.28% to $77.05 in above-average trading; Eversource Energy added 2.14% on about average volume to finish at $78.81; and Pinnacle West Capital Corp. earned 2.16% on light volume to settle at $93.78.

General Electric Co. lost 11.30% on about 8x average trading volume to conclude at $8.01, after Harry Markopolos, who was investigating GE for an unnamed hedge fund, released a 175-page online report alleging that the company was hiding $38.1 billion in potential losses that may just be the "tip of the iceberg" and that its cash situation was "far worse" than disclosed in GE's 2018 financial report.

The purported losses include a $9.1 billion noncash loss tied to GE's acquisition of Baker Hughes a GE company due in 2018 and $18.5 billion in new cash immediately needed to boost the reserves of GE's long-term-care insurance unit.

Baker Hughes closed the day 5.91% down on strong volume to $20.71.

Canadian Solar Inc. shares advanced 12.04% on about 7x average trading volume to finish at $23.08, after the company reported net income attributable to the company of $62.7 million, or $1.04 per share, in the second quarter of 2019, compared to net income of $15.6 million, or 26 cents per share, in the prior-year period.

The company raised 2019 guidance for panel-making capacity by 9%, or 1,000 MW, to 12,200 MW by year-end.

Just Energy Group Inc. dropped 40.05% on nearly 8x average trading volume in the Toronto Stock Exchange to settle at C$2.47, after posting fiscal first-quarter 2020 base EBITDA from continuing operations of C$24.2 million, a 31% drop from C$34.8 million in the same quarter in fiscal 2019. The S&P Global Market Intelligence consensus EBITDA estimate for the fiscal first quarter was C$39.3 million.

FuelCell Energy Inc. gained 12.54% in double average trading to close at 35 cents per share. The company and several of its subsidiaries amended three separate credit facilities. FuelCell also announced that it raised $6.4 million from July 25 to Aug. 8 under its "at-the-market" equity program.

In the oil and gas sector, Range Resources Corp. declined 2.89% in slightly below-average trading to $4.03; National Oilwell Varco Inc. retreated 2.45% in average trading to $18.28; and Marathon Oil Corp. closed down 2.28% on brisk volume to $12.02.

NuStar Energy LP dropped 0.93% on light volume to $26.49. The partnership received the first shipment of crude oil from the Permian Basin at its terminal in Corpus Christi, Texas, delivered through a connection to Plains All American Pipeline LP's Cactus II pipeline. Plains was down 0.84% on average volume to $21.34.

Encana Corp. shares were down 1.90% on heavy volume to $4.14. Citing a drop in the stock's market price, the company reduced the price range of its substantial issuer bid to purchase for cancellation up to $213 million of its common shares.

Occidental Petroleum Corp. saw a 0.59% increase in light trading to close at $43.96. The company plans to exchange up to $11.9 billion of notes issued by Anadarko Petroleum Corp. and its former subsidiaries for new Occidental notes.

The S&P 500 Energy declined 0.52% to 414.12, and the Alerian MLP Index slid 0.35% to 224.92.

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