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Friday's Energy Stocks: Markets reach new peaks; merchants rake in gains


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Friday's Energy Stocks: Markets reach new peaks; merchants rake in gains

Wall Street again surpassed its previous highs, continuing its record-breaking streak on Friday, Dec. 9. The Dow Jones Industrial Average reached 19,757.74 before settling up 0.72% to 19,756.85, while the S&P 500 hit 2,259.80 before closing 0.59% higher to 2,259.53.

The energy sector ended mixed, with the SNL Energy Index seeing a 0.43% increase to 275.89.

Merchants led energy equities as the SNL Merchant Generator Index raked in 2.15% to 83.78. Recording the biggest gains, Dynegy Inc. soared 9.38% in nearly four times the normal trading to finish at $8.98, Calpine Corp. earned 3.37% on heavy volume to close at $11.66 and NRG Energy Inc. rose 3.21% in active trading to settle at $12.86.

Cheniere Energy Inc. edged up 0.84% on strong volume to end at $43.01 after terminating a deal to buy out the holding company that holds the majority stake in its master limited partnership.

Cheniere said that the company's board of directors and a conflicts committee established by Cheniere Energy Partners LP Holdings LLC's board failed to agree on an exchange ratio for the proposed stock-for-stock deal. Cheniere Holdings owns a 55.9% limited partner interest in Cheniere Energy Partners LP, the MLP that owns the Sabine Pass LNG regasification facility and the connected Cheniere Creole Trail Pipeline Co. LP.

Cheniere Holdings shed 3.02% in brisk trading to close at $21.55 while Cheniere Partners declined 1.59% on light volume to finish at $29.00. The SNL Midstream Energy Index lost 0.35% to 117.44.

In the coal sector, Peabody Energy Corp. plummeted 14.83% at the over-the-counter market to end at $11.60. An investor with a large stake in the corporation believes recent coal market recoveries means shareholders still stand to extract value from the company despite its earlier financial woes.

Among other coal stocks, Rhino Resource Partners LP dipped 4.47% in below-average trading to close at $4.49, Natural Resource Partners LP retreated 3.71% on weak volume to finish at $35.00 and Arch Coal Inc. gave up 3.31% on below-average volume to settle at $80.05. The SNL Coal Index went down 1.66% to 86.38.

January 2017 natural gas traded higher Friday, Dec. 9, as cold weather forecasts continued to drive bullish sentiment. The contract closed the session at $3.746/MMBtu, adding 5.1 cents on the day.

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