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Tuesday's Energy Stocks: MLPs lead sector gains, broader markets recover

The energy sector performed better than broader markets on Tuesday, May 21, with master limited partnerships leading gains. Wall Street closed broadly higher, as the U.S. temporary lifted restrictions on Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., easing investor fears of trade war retaliations from China.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.77% to 25,877.33, and the S&P 500 settled 0.85% higher to 2,864.36.

QEP Resources Inc. shares closed 2.03% higher in slightly above-average trading to finish at $8.06, following a Bloomberg News report that private equity firm Blackstone Group LP, along with fellow upstream companies Callon Petroleum Co. and Whiting Petroleum Corp., have expressed interest in acquiring QEP. Analysts are divided on just how seriously to take those rumors.

Callon Petroleum ended up 3.02% at $7.85, and Whiting Petroleum gained 3.17% to cap the day at $23.46.

BP PLC's stock price on the New York Stock Exchange ticked up 0.40% on below-average volume to close at $42.75. The company's shareholders overwhelmingly approved a resolution to broaden the way BP reports its greenhouse gas emissions and climate goals.

Among other oil and gas companies, Devon Energy Corp. added 3.63% on light volume to end at $31.12; Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. earned 3.40% in brisk trading to settle at $27.35; and Concho Resources Inc. closed 3.05% higher on light volume to $115.60.

The S&P 500 Energy Sector finished 1.07% higher at 473.58.

MLPs outpaced other energy components at the end of the trading day, with the S&P 500 Alerian MLP Index rising 1.26% to close at 255.68.

Among the biggest gainers, Genesis Energy LP climbed 3.05% to end at $22.61; Andeavor Logistics LP rose 2.36% to settle at $36.40; MPLX LP advanced 2.07% to finish at $32.00; and Magellan Midstream Partners LP added 1.55% to close at $62.78, all in below-average trading.

In the electric and diversified utility sector, Xcel Energy Inc. slid 0.53% on light volume to close at $58.08. The company plans to exit coal-fired generation from its Upper Midwest power mix by 2030 while adding at least 3,000 MW of solar resources, expanding energy efficiency and purchasing an existing natural gas plant.

Alliant Energy Corp. retreated 0.25% in light trading to end at $48.08, after its shareholders passed a resolution calling for the utility to disclose its spending in connection with efforts to influence legislation or support political candidates and political committees.

Duke Energy Corp. picked up 0.14% on slim volume to finish at $87.08. S&P Global Ratings changed its outlook on Duke and its subsidiaries to negative from stable, on expectations of weaker financial measures.

Ocean Power Technologies Inc. has regained compliance with the Nasdaq Stock Market's minimum equity requirement. The company's shares closed 4.29% down on light volume to settle at $2.23.

Leading gains, PG&E Corp. climbed 4.36% in light trading to close at $18.45; Vistra Energy Corp. tacked on 2.75% to $25.75 in heavy trading; NRG Energy Inc. picked up 2.20% on brisk volume to finish at $36.70; and PPL Corp. added 1.79% in roughly average trading to settle at $30.22.

The S&P 500 Utilities Sector edged 0.06% higher to 297.64.

Market prices and index values are current as of the time of publication and are subject to change. S&P Global Ratings and S&P Global Market Intelligence are owned by S&P Global Inc.