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Friday's Energy Stocks: Utilities close in the red as markets recover

Markets closed higher on Friday, May 24, recovering from the previous trading session, after U.S. President Donald Trump said there was a "good possibility" of renewing trade negotiations with China, according to a Financial Times report.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 0.37% to 25,585.69, while the S&P 500 rose 0.14% to 2,826.06.

Electric and diversified utilities reversed the general upward trend, as the S&P 500 Utilities Sector shed 0.21% to 301.90.

AES Corp. retreated 1.73% to $16.50; Edison International lost 1.31% to $60.89; and Sempra Energy closed down 1.13% to $134.35, all on light volume.

PPL Corp. and Berkshire Hathaway Energy, two U.S. companies with British operations, said they would seek compensation if the Labour Party's proposal to nationalize U.K. utilities goes into effect. They have joined the chorus of electricity and gas grid operators opposed to transferring the assets back into state ownership.

PPL shares increased 1.45% on brisk volume to reach $30.80.

Among oil and gas companies, Range Resources Corp. gained 2.45% in weak trading to close at $7.96, National Oilwell Varco Inc. increased 1.27% on strong volume, closing at $22.39, while Baker Hughes a GE company declined 3.69% in brisk trading to end at $22.21.

Riviera Resources Inc. closed up 1.08% in over-the-counter-trading to close at $14.05, after announcing that it will sell its interest in properties located in Michigan to an undisclosed buyer for $44.5 million. The Houston-based independent oil and natural gas company plans to divest approximately 1,400 net wells with proved developed reserves of roughly 193 Bcfe and proved developed PV-10 of $38 million.

Emerge Energy Services received a notification from the NYSE that it fell out of compliance with the exchange's listing standards, which require firms to maintain an average closing share price of at least $1 over a consecutive 30 trading-day period. The company closed the day 76.57% up in brisk trading to 30 cents.

Shares of Delek US Holdings Inc. rose 2.43% on light volume to end at $34.20. The company disclosed plans to invest $150 million to enhance its refinery in Krotz Springs, La., via a series of projects over the next five years.

During a discussion at the AIPN International Petroleum Summit in Houston, ConocoPhillips CEO Ryan Lance said that investor displeasure has forced oil and gas producers to permanently change their way of doing business.

"What was important for us to recognize is that the industry has destroyed value over the past 15-20 years. That's why investors have fled this business," he said.

ConocoPhillips closed 0.64% higher on light volume to $59.88.

The S&P 500 Energy Sector picked up 0.15% to 452.22, while the Alerian MLP Index saw a 0.42% increase to 250.58.

In the coal sector, Peabody Energy Corp. shares edged up 2.25% in light trading to close at $25.00. The company will begin its ventilation of the first segment of North Goonyella coal mine in Queensland, Australia.

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