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Wednesday's Energy Stocks: Utilities advance as sector, broader markets decline

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Wednesday's Energy Stocks: Utilities advance as sector, broader markets decline

Electric and diversified utilities weathered the decline by both other components of the energy sector and broader markets on Wednesday, May 22. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 0.39% lower to 25,776.61, and the S&P 500 was down 0.28% to 2,856.27.

President Donald Trump said that moving forward with an infrastructure package or plans to lower drug prices would be impossible if investigations into his administration continue.

Sempra Energy shares picked up 2.13% in active trading to end at $134.30. Subsidiaries of Sempra and Saudi Aramco entered into a nonbinding agreement that may lead to a 20-year LNG supply deal for Sempra's Port Arthur LNG export project in Texas and a 25% equity investment in the project's first phase.

Southern Co. Chairman, President and CEO Tom Fanning said during the company's annual meeting that nuclear must be included with renewables as part of any serious effort to decarbonize U.S. energy. Southern shares finished 0.26% higher on light volume to $54.11.

Among other electric and diversified utilities, PG&E Corp. gained 2.98% to close at $19.00; NextEra Energy Inc. gained 1.52% to end at $201.93; and WEC Energy Group Inc. advanced 1.11% to settle at $81.76, all in below-average trading. Meanwhile, National Grid PLC shares on the NYSE were down 1.27% to $51.50 in about average trading and Vistra Energy Corp. shares dipped 1.17% to $25.45 in light trading.

The S&P 500 Utilities Sector saw a 0.82% gain to conclude at 300.07.

In the oil and gas sector, Range Resources Corp. shares declined 6.16% on average volume to end at $8.07, after the company issued its first corporate sustainability report which details its efforts to achieve zero emissions across its operations through a number of technologies and practices.

Pioneer Natural Resources Co.'s stock price closed 3.01% down on light volume to $153.15, after the company laid off 25% of its workforce in a move to cut $100 million in costs. The company cut 300 employees in April and another 230 workers this week at its headquarters in Irving, Texas, and in its Permian Basin offices.

Occidental Petroleum Corp. retreated 1.36% in brisk trading to finish at $52.78. Its subsidiary Oxy Low Carbon Ventures LLC and Canadian clean energy firm Carbon Engineering Ltd. are proceeding with the engineering and design of a direct air capture and sequestration facility in the Permian Basin.

Also, EQT Corp. shed 6.99% to $19.95; Devon Energy Corp. saw a 5.82% decrease to $29.31; and Concho Resources Inc. slipped 4.96% to $109.87, all on below-average volume.

The S&P 500 Energy Sector lost 1.58% to settle at 466.10, and the Alerian MLP Index dropped 0.27% to finish at 254.98.

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