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Monday's Energy Stocks: Occidental Petroleum down 6.13% as sector, Street lose

Mainstream benchmarks closed the Monday, Oct. 15, trading day with losses, while most electric and diversified utilities made modest gains.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.35% finish at 25,250.55, and the S&P 500 shed 0.59% settling at 2,750.79, both after an up-and-down day.

Among major players in the oil and gas business, Occidental Petroleum Corp.'s shares tumbled 6.13% to wrap a brisk session at $72.24. The company has chosen not to renew its development and production sharing agreement for the Idd El-Shargi North Dome field offshore Qatar. Qatar Petroleum will begin managing and operating the field.

Valero Energy Corp. shares slid 4.12% to $103.79 on heavy volume, and Marathon Petroleum Corp. shares trimmed off 2.86%, closing a solid session at $77.79.

EQT Corp. stock grew 3.41% to $46.95 on below-average volume, and its pipeline master limited partnership EQT Midstream Partners LP's units gained 1.48% to finish a slow session at $52.20. EQT Midstream Partners, EQT Midstream Services LLC and EQT GP Holdings LP changed their names to EQM Midstream Partners LP, EQM Midstream Services LLC and EQGP Holdings LP, respectively.

Oilfield services company Nine Energy Service Inc. said that it entered into a definitive agreement to acquire downhole technology provider Magnum Oil Tools International Ltd. for a total upfront cost of $493 million. Nine Energy Service shares jumped 8.17% to $38.39 at the end of robust session.

Range Resources Corp. shares outperformed the industry trend, spiking 5.31% to $17.65 on strong volume.

The S&P 500 Energy Index retreated 0.82% to 536.08, and the Alerian MLP Index decreased 0.08% to 270.72.

In gas utilities business, Enbridge Inc. has decided to move forward with the planned amalgamation of its Ontario-based natural gas utilities Enbridge Gas Distribution Inc. and Union Gas Ltd., creating a single utility that would serve more than 3.5 million customers in the province. Enbridge shares bumped up 1.06% to $32.32 on below-average volume.

Among electric and diversified utilities, PG&E Corp. shares were up 1.21% to $47.84 on below-average volume. Its subsidiary Pacific Gas and Electric Co. early on Oct. 15 proactively shut off power in certain parts of Northern California facing "extreme fire risk."

NiSource Inc. shares added 1.81% finishing an active session at $24.75. Operation and maintenance expenses exceed wholesale power prices at five coal-fired generating units that NiSource subsidiary Northern Indiana Public Service Co. has identified for future retirement.

Southern Co. saw its share price go up 1.47%, reaching $44.22 on average volume. Fitch Ratings downgraded Southern development partner Oglethorpe Power Corp.'s $980.8 million of pollution control bonds and $3.05 billion of first mortgage bonds to BBB+ from A-, following the recent cost increase in the budget of the Alvin W. Vogtle Nuclear Plant nuclear expansion project in Georgia.

The S&P 500 Utilities Index increased 0.35% to 269.75.

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