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Monday's Energy Stocks: US markets close higher on easing trade tensions

Broader U.S. markets closed the Monday, Dec. 16, session on the upside as tensions apparently eased between the U.S. and China following last week's preliminary trade deal. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 0.36% higher to 28,235.89 and the S&P 500 exited the day at 3,191.45, up 0.71%.

Oil and gas companies moved higher as well, with the S&P 500 Energy Sector adding 1.43% to 447.64 and the Alerian MLP Index rising by 1.80% to 212.66.

Shares of WPX Energy Inc. rose 9.07% on more than twice the average volume to $11.90 after the company signed a deal to acquire Delaware Basin-focused producer Felix Energy LLC for $2.5 billion.

Other gainers included Range Resources Corp., which closed at $4.53, up 7.60% in average trading; Cabot Oil & Gas Corp., which climbed 4.91% to $16.89; and EQT Corp., which posted a 4.62% increase to reach $9.73, on above-average volume.

Marathon Petroleum Corp. closed the Monday session with a 3.65% gain in active trading to $60.75 after the company announced board and proposed governance changes as part of an agreement it reached a day earlier with activist investor Elliott Management Corp.

Kinder Morgan Inc. nudged higher by 1.88% in brisk trading to $20.58 after the company's Elba Island liquefaction terminal in Georgia shipped its first export cargo on Dec. 13.

Falling shares included McDermott International Inc. fell 6.60% on lower-than-average volume to 77.09 cents per share. The company received a delisting warning from the New York Stock Exchange on Dec. 13.

Among midstream and pipeline partnerships, MPLX LP units increased by 3.84% in average trading to $25.69; DCP Midstream LP exited the day with a 3.75% gain in near-average volume to $24.04; and Phillips 66 Partners LP added 3.58% on higher-than-average volume to $59.02.

EQM Midstream Partners LP nudged higher by 2.42% in brisk trading to close at $25.39. The partnership increased its adjusted EBITDA guidance for 2020 to the $1.36 billion to $1.41 billion range, up from the $1.3 billion it forecast for 2019.

Antero Midstream Corp. notched a 2.22% increase in light trading to $5.98 after announcing that it had purchased back 19,377,592 of its common shares from Antero Resources Corp. for $100 million. Shares of Antero Resources shed 0.37% in active trading to settle at $2.68.

Electric and diversified utilities also reported gains for the opening session of the workweek, with the S&P 500 Utilities Sector up 1.29% to 323.71.

Notable movers included Southern Co. which rose 2.49% on above-average volume to $62.27, AES Corp., which closed at $19.37, up 2.38% in light trading, and DTE Energy Co., which added 2.10% in average trading to exit the day at $127.48.

Fortis Inc. managed a 1.96% increase in more than twice the average volume to $41.62. The company's subsidiary Tucson Electric Power Co. secured a $225 million term loan due Dec. 9, 2020.

AltaGas Ltd. posted a 1.65% gain in average trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange to C$19.09 after the company completed its issuance of C$500 million of 2.609% senior unsecured medium-term notes due Dec. 16, 2022.

Trouble California utility PG&E Corp. fell 13.97% in heavy trading to $9.67. California Gov. Gavin Newsom said the revised Chapter 11 bankruptcy restructuring proposal of PG&E and its utility unit Pacific Gas and Electric Co. fell "woefully short" of the criteria laid out in a 2019 state law.

Solar companies saw gains as automobile manufacturer Tesla Inc. advanced 6.45% on more than twice the average volume to $381.50. First Solar Inc. added 2.82% in light trading to $56.53, and TerraForm Power Inc. nudged higher by 1.40% in near-average trading to reach $15.18.

Coal companies also moved upward, with CNX Resources Corp. shares rising by 4.85% in near-average trading to $7.79; Alliance Resource Partners LP posting a 4.51% gain in active trading to $10.43; and Arch Coal Inc. closing the session up 3.61% in brisk trading to $76.69.

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