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Monday's Energy Stocks: Markets down on Columbus Day

Broader markets ended lower on Monday, Oct. 9, dragging most energy benchmarks down as well.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished the Columbus Day session 0.06% lower at 22,761.07, and the S&P 500 declined 0.18% to close at 2,544.73. The SNL Energy Index lost 0.07%, finishing at 290.18.

The SNL Midstream Energy Index finished 0.35% lower to end the session at 112.31. However, CVR Refining LP and QEP Resources Inc. were among the top midstream performers.

CVR Refining gained 7.35% to finish at $10.95 on triple average volume and QEP wrapped up the session up 4.52%, closing at $9.02 on below-average volume.

Houston, Texas-headquartered Atwood Oceanics Inc. and London, U.K.-based Ensco plc completed their merger, in which Atwood became a wholly owned subsidiary of Ensco. Atwood shares hiked 1.97% to reach $9.32 at close of market about five times the average volume and Ensco stock finished the session 1.41% down at $5.60 in below-average trading volume.

The power generation business was slow to start the week with the SNL Merchant Generator Index losing 0.38% to close at 100.63. Component companies Ormat Technologies Inc., NRG Energy Inc. and Atlantic Power Corp., however, outperformed the market.

Ormat grew 1.44% to finish at $61.46, NRG added 0.98% to close at $25.74 and Atlantic Power shares spiked 2.04% to end the session at $2.50, all on below-average trading volume.

Among renewable companies, TerraForm Power Inc traded down 1.21% to finish at $13.07 on high volume after it secured shareholder approval for its acquisition by Brookfield Asset Management Inc. Brookfield will purchase TerraForm for $9.52 per share value. Brookfield's class A shares were down 0.77% to close at C$52.65 on slow volume trading on the Toronto exchange.

First Solar Inc. shares declined 2.70% to close at $46.91 on light volume.

The SNL Coal Index traded 0.20% down to end the session at 64.89. Natural Resource Partners LP retreated 1.16% to $25.50 on average volume, and Alliance Holdings GP LP slipped 1.50% to $26.93 on above-average volume.

NYMEX November natural gas futures were pulled higher briefly early during Monday's session, but gains failed to hold as the contract was weighed down by the calendar. Even with forecasts calling for above-average temperatures to maintain a hold on major portions of the country, lower high temperatures associated with the season should limit demand, keeping downside pressure on values. The contract managed a $2.886/MMBtu high before the force of bearish fundamentals tugged the front-month contract to a $2.827/MMBtu low and a settle 3.0 cents lower on the day at $2.833/MMBtu.

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