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Wednesday's Energy Stocks: Entergy falls amid talk of FitzPatrick deal with Exelon

Shares of EntergyCorp. lost 0.17% on above-average volume to finish at $80.92 onWednesday, July 13.

The decrease in the company's shares came after the companysaid it is in talkswith Exelon Corp. tosell its James A. FitzPatrick nuclear plant in Scriba, N.Y., a deal that couldgo forward if state regulators pass and implement a subsidy that would helpthree upstate nuclear plants. Entergy on July 13 announced the potential deal,which could prevent the scheduled January 2017 retirement of the nuclear plant.

Exelon shares saw a 0.88% increase to end the session at$36.75.

Shares of PublicService Enterprise Group Inc. earned 1.17% in light trading toclose the day at $45.97, after Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC analysts said thefirm is looking morepositively on Public Service Enterprise Group's future prospects in upgradingthe company to "equal-weight" from "underweight" andupdating the price target to $47 from $43.

PG&E Corp.shares gained 1.35% to settle at $64.56, after a judge that the jury in the criminal caseagainst PG&E subsidiary PacificGas and Electric Co. needs to hear about the fatal 2010 San Bruno,Calif., pipeline explosion that set the case in motion. Judge Thelton Hendersonruled that the explosion is too closely tied to the criminal allegations ofsafety rule violations and investigation obstruction for the jury to be kept inthe dark about the rupture.

Most of the large diversified names enjoyed increases duringtrading Wednesday. Shares of XcelEnergy Inc. advanced 1.03% to $43.95, while sharesfinished 1.01% higher at $23.94. Shares of CMS Energy Corp. were 1.01% up at $45.03 on weak volume,while SCANA Corp.rose 0.97% to $74.25.

The SNL Energy Large Diversified Index closed up 0.76% to224.81, and the SNL Electric Company Index rose 0.70% to 447.30.

Midstream energy stocks were hammered in general. Shares ofLegacy Reserves LPfell 5.46% to $1.73, SummitMidstream Partners LP shares lost 4.53% to $23.18 in thin tradingand shares of MPLX LPretreated 4.25% to $33.35.

Kinder MorganInc. shares saw a 2.02% rise on heavy volume to finish at $20.21.The increase came after ValeroEnergy Corp. subsidiary Valero Terminaling and Distribution Co.acquired all theremaining ownership interest in Parkway Pipeline LLC, a joint venture withKinder Morgan. Valero's purchase of Kinder Morgan's 50% membership interest inthe 141-mile pipeline is effective June 30.

The SNL Midstream Energy Index ended 0.86% lower at 117.27.

In the coal space, shares of shed 2.33% to$21.80, and Natural ResourcePartners LP shares slid 0.58% to $18.74. The SNL Coal Index rolleddown 1.01% to 57.68.

Amid uncertainty driven by a large U.S. inventory of naturalgas, rising demand and shrinking production, natural gas traders continued tomove August gas futuresboth higher and lower, searching for a comfortable position before settling theWednesday, July 13, session 0.3 cent higher at $2.737/MMBtu.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 0.13% to18,372.12, and the S&P 500 gained 0.01% to 2,152.43.

Market prices andindex values are current as of the time of publication and are subject tochange.