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Monday's Energy Stocks: American Midstream surges on ArcLight affiliate deal

Broader markets closed Monday, March 18, trading with gains, a day before a U.S. Federal Reserve meeting. The Dow Jones Industrial Average saw a 0.25% increase to close at 25,914.10, and the S&P 500 picked up 0.37% to settle at 2,832.94.

The energy sector closed mixed following a selloff among utilities and a rally among oil and gas companies.

American Midstream Partners LP surged 28.50% on nearly 20x average trading volume to settle at $5.14, following news that an affiliate of ArcLight Energy Partners Fund V LP struck a definitive merger deal to buy all of American Midstream's outstanding common units not already held by its affiliates for $5.25 per unit.

Among other MLPs, Enterprise Products Partners LP rose 2.45% to finish at $28.82; MPLX LP closed up 2.30% to $33.75; and Plains All American Pipeline LP added 2.02% to conclude at $24.79, all on below-average volume.

Carrizo Oil & Gas Inc. jumped up 6.28% on brisk volume to end at $12.37, and SM Energy Co. picked up 2.42% in average trading to close at $16.08, following a Bloomberg report that the companies have held early-stage discussions about a possible merger. People familiar with the matter told Bloomberg that there is no certainty the talks will lead to a transaction.

The S&P 500 Energy Sector gained 1.39% to 491.57, while the Alerian MLP Index moved 1.65% higher to 254.58.

PG&E Corp. is facing pressure from investors to initiate a management overhaul. The company closed the day down 1.12% on light volume to finish at $19.43.

Also facing calls for changes in its management is TransAlta Corp. whose shares advanced 7.13% in brisk trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange to close at C$8.86.

A group of activist investors is in talks with TransAlta board representatives to enhance shareholder value and seek board representation. The group believes that TransAlta shares are undervalued and that the Calgary, Alberta-based power generator "can create significantly more value for shareholders through improved execution and focus."

Among other electric and diversified utilities, Evergy Inc. was down 1.39% to $56.87 in about average trading; Pinnacle West Capital Corp. dipped 0.90% to $95.28: and AES Corp. shaved off 0.87% to $18.15, while NiSource Inc. ticked up 0.57% to $28.05, all in light trading.

The S&P 500 Utilities Sector was down 0.41% to 294.20.

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