Wall Street extended and widened its losses from the previous day as the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the Thursday, Oct. 18, trading day down 1.27% to 25,379.45, and the S&P 500 shed 1.44% to close at 2,768.78.
St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said the Federal Reserve's key interest rate is at a level that is "about right," and that further rate hikes may not be necessary over the next few years.
Overall, energy sector equities lost less than the broader markets and some individual stocks posted gains. TC PipeLines LP surged 9.11% in brisk trading to close at $32.10, after the struggling TransCanada Corp. master limited partnership reduced the estimated negative financial impact from a new U.S. tax policy. The partnership said it expects to take a $20 million to $30 million annualized hit beginning in 2019 due to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's decision to eliminate income tax allowance recovery on cost-of-service rates for oil and gas MLPs. TransCanada shares dipped 0.02% on light volume to end at $40.22.
Kinder Morgan Inc. slid 0.06% on heavy volume to finish at $17.94, after reporting third-quarter adjusted EBITDA of $1.86 billion, an increase from $1.75 billion in the prior-year period. The S&P Global Market Intelligence consensus estimate of adjusted EBITDA was $1.86 billion.
MEG Energy Corp. increased 0.56% to close at C$10.85, while Husky Energy Inc. added 0.20% to finish at C$19.87, both on strong volume on the Toronto Stock Exchange. MEG Energy is asking its shareholders to reject an unsolicited C$3.3 billion cash-and-stock buyout offer from Husky Energy, saying the offer "significantly undervalues" the MEG shareholders' investments in the company.
Western Gas Partners LP retreated 0.48% in about average trading to $46.03, and Western Gas Equity Partners LP declined 1.25% in robust trading to $31.71, after raising their distributions for the third quarter by roughly 2% each over the previous quarter.
Western Gas Partners increased its distribution to 96.5 cents per unit, up 1.5 cents, or 1.6%, from the previous quarter. Western Gas Equity Partners increased its distribution for the third quarter to 59.5 cents per unit, up 1.2 cents, or 2.1%, from the second quarter.
Shares of SM Energy Co. were down 3.24% in active trading to close at $28.99, after its third-quarter production surpassed the high end of the company's guidance. The company posted total production of 12.0 million barrels of oil equivalent, or 130.2 Mboe/d in the third quarter.
An overwhelming majority of Energy Transfer Equity LP stockholders agreed to a merger rolling up Energy Transfer Partners LP. Energy Transfer Equity shed 1.52% to finish at $16.82, and Energy Transfer Partners slid 1.38% to settle at $21.47, both in heavy trading.
The S&P 500 Energy Sector dropped 0.48% to close at 534.41, and the Alerian MLP Index decreased 0.67% to finish at 270.86.
In the power sector, Oncor Electric Delivery Co. LLC struck a deal to acquire InfraREIT Inc. for approximately $1.28 billion, or $21 per share, including InfraREIT's outstanding debt, which stood at $945 million as of June 30. InfraREIT shares rose 1.75% on 99 times normal trading volume to end at $20.99. Oncor is majority-owned by Sempra Energy, which gained 0.53% to $115.91 in somewhat above-average trading.
Among electric and diversified utilities, NRG Energy Inc. settled 1.76% lower in brisk trading to $36.86. Guggenheim Securities LLC raised its price target for NRG Energy to $51 from $38, following a "very productive" meeting with the company's top executives. NRG Energy also launched a new plan that simplifies the traditional renewable energy procurement process into a cost competitive one.
FirstEnergy Corp. gained 0.37% on above-average volume to $38.06 after its subsidiary FirstEnergy Solutions Corp. sought bankruptcy court approval for a $25 million letter of credit facility that the power provider contends is necessary to support continued operations and advance its separation from the parent company.
Among other sector components, Vistra Energy Corp. was down 2.27% to $22.86 on heavy volume and AES Corp. dipped 1.86% on strong volume to $14.80. Meanwhile, NorthWestern Corp. picked up 1.21% to $60.04 in above-average trading and PNM Resources Inc. rose 1.20% to $39.57, also in above-average trading.
The S&P 500 Utilities Sector eked out an 0.08% increase to settle at 272.69.
Market prices and index values are current as of the time of publication and are subject to change.