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Wednesday's Energy Stocks: Worsening trade tensions add to US stock losses

Wall Street recorded losses on Wednesday, May 29, as trade fears continue to plague investors.

According to a report by Chinese publication Global Times, China's state planning agency issued a statement that is seen as a veiled threat that the country could restrict the export of its rare earth minerals, which are metals with various technological applications.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the day down 0.87% at 25,126.41, and the S&P 500 finished 0.69% lower at 2,783.02.

Electric and diversified utilities logged the biggest declines among energy components, with the S&P 500 Utilities Sector shedding 1.34% to settle at 293.05.

Among the notable declines were MGE Energy Inc., down 3.71% to $66.79 on more than 4x average volume; PG&E Corp., which fell 3.38% to close at $17.13 on average volume; PPL Corp., which dropped 2.39% to end at $29.85 on average volume; and Clearway Energy Inc., down 2.35% to $14.56 in light trading.

Shares of independent power producer Atlantic Power Corp. fell 11.49% to $2.31 on more than 7x average volume.

CreditSights downgraded CMS Energy Corp.'s bonds to "market perform" from "outperform" based on their current valuation. CMS Energy finished 1.21% down in average trading to close at $55.49.

In an exception to the declines, Edison International pulled out a 0.67% gain on brisk volume to finish at $58.67. The company expects that the recent decision by regulators on Southern California Edison Co.'s 2018 general rate case would result in a second-quarter impairment of approximately $170 million, or $122 million after taxes.

In the oil and gas sector, shareholders at Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp. rejected several investor-led environmental, social and governance resolutions at their respective annual general meetings.

Exxon slipped 0.62% on about average volume to close at $72.16, and Chevron edged 1.30% lower on below-average volume to end at $116.77.

Kinder Morgan Inc. picked up 0.15% in somewhat below-average trading to end at $19.91, after Fitch lifted the ratings on the company to BBB from BBB-. Fitch cited the cash flow stability of Kinder Morgan's asset base and improved leverage, among other factors. The ratings outlook was revised to stable from positive.

Devon Energy Corp. shares climbed 0.94% on heavy volume to finish at $26.85, following the announcement that it is selling its Canadian business to Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. for C$3.8 billion, or US$2.8 billion. The deal adds proved reserves of approximately 409 million barrels to Canadian Natural's portfolio.

Canadian Natural, which sees the deal as a "win-win" for both companies, closed the day 3.73% higher in robust trading to $27.24.

Among other oil and gas companies, Baker Hughes, a GE company slumped 2.12% on slim volume to $21.70; Marathon Oil Corp. retreated 1.67% on strong volume to $14.09; Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. declined 1.67% in brisk trading to $25.27; and Range Resources Corp. earned 4.21% in below-average trading to $8.16.

The S&P 500 Energy Sector dipped 0.62% to 444.45, and the Alerian MLP Index edged 0.20% lower to 247.50.

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