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Thursday's Energy Stocks: Markets log post-Christmas rally

Editor's note: The daily markets column will be discontinued on Dec. 31. Daily stock pricing moves are available on the "Markets and Deals, Pricing Highlights" page of the Market Intelligence platform.

Markets reached new records in post-Christmas trading Thursday, Dec. 26, as investors anticipate the signing of an interim trade deal between the U.S. and China. Retailers reported a 3.4% increase in holiday season sales compared to 2018.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 0.37% to 28,621.39, and the S&P 500 rose 0.51% to settle at 3,239.91.

TC Energy Corp. gained 1.57% in light trading to $53.84 after agreeing to sell a 65% equity stake in the Coastal GasLink natural gas pipeline project to KKR & Co. Inc. and Alberta Investment Management Corp. TC Energy also intends to strike a deal to secure funding for the project that will cover up to 80% of the construction.

Among master limited partnerships, Antero Midstream Corp. climbed 3.90% to $7.46, Phillips 66 Partners LP edged up 2.90% to $62.77, and TC PipeLines LP finished 2.15% higher to $43.62. Trading volumes were below average across all sectors.

In other oil and gas stocks, Schlumberger Ltd. declined 1.43% to $40.07, Halliburton Co. shed 1.29% to $24.54, and EQT Corp. dropped 1.11% to $10.69.

The S&P 500 Energy Sector was mostly unchanged at 457.11, and the Alerian MLP Index increased 1.03% to 222.53.

S&P Global Ratings upgraded its long-term issuer credit ratings on Florida Power & Light Co. and Gulf Power Co. to A from A- and removed the ratings from under criteria observation. Parent company NextEra Energy Inc. saw a 0.60% increase to $241.96.

Fitch Ratings downgraded the long-term issuer default rating of DPL Inc. to BB+ from BBB- and Dayton Power and Light Co.'s to BBB- from BBB. The utilities' owner, AES Corp., settled the trading day 0.86% higher to $19.93.

Consolidated Edison Inc. shares dipped 0.02% to $89.65. Moody's changed the rating outlooks on the company and subsidiaries Consolidated Edison Co. of New York Inc. and Orange and Rockland Utilities Inc. to negative from stable "due to an expectation for weaker financial metrics in the presence of higher political and regulatory risks."

Among other electric and diversified utilities, NRG Energy Inc. slid 1.65% to $39.23, while Edison International gained 0.71% to $75.35 and Sempra Energy added 0.64% to $151.62. Vistra Energy Corp. was down 1.96% to $23.03.

In the renewables sector, Vivint Solar Inc. earned 3.01% to $7.87, SunPower Corp. rose 2.86% to $8.27, and Enphase Energy Inc. climbed 1.18% to $27.34.

The S&P 500 Utilities Sector was up 0.18% to 325.96.

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

This S&P Global Market Intelligence news article may contain information about credit ratings issued by S&P Global Ratings. Descriptions in this news article were not prepared by S&P Global Ratings.