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Friday's Energy Stocks: Utilities buck broader selloff after tepid jobs report

Energyequities fell with broad indexes on Friday, Oct. 8, after a unemployment report released bythe U.S. Department of Labor.

The nation'semployment picture did not change significantly in September, as the economyadded 156,000 nonfarm payroll jobs during the month. Economists expected thenation to add 168,000 jobs during the month, according to Econoday dataavailable from Bloomberg. The unemployment rate came in at 5.0%, compared tothe 4.9% economists expected for the month.

TheDow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.15% to 18,240.49, the S&P 500 gaveup 0.33% to 2,153.74 and the SNL Energy Index slipped 0.31% to 273.51.

Utilitiesweathered a broader selloff as the Philadelphia Utility Index moved up 0.01% to599.78, the Dow Jones Utility Average rose 0.10% to 643.46, and the SNLElectric Company Index earned 1.21% to 417.83. According to new data from theU.S. Energy Information Administration, average annual prices for retailelectricity in the U.S. residential sector could for the first time in 14 years.

gained 3.14%on more than double average volume to close at $121.74 after utility subsidiaryFlorida Power & Light Co.reached a settlementin a pending rate case in Florida; GreatPlains Energy Inc. ticked up 0.75% in brisk trading to settle at$26.82; and ALLETE Inc.climbed 0.18% in below-average volume to end at $57.06.

Mostsolar stocks closed the week in the red with SunPower Corp. shedding 5.64% on below-average volume tofinish at $8.36, First Solar Inc.closing down 5.46% on heavy volume to close at $37.58, and declining 5.77%in light trading to finish at $13.55. Going against the trend were and after Goldman Sachslifted its view on both companies, as reported by TheStreet.

Sunrunspiked 6.05% in heavy trading to settle at $6.49 following a rating upgrade to "buy"from "neutral" with a $10 target price, while Vivint Solar advancedearned 0.31% in above-average trading to end at $3.19 after an upgrade to "neutral"from "sell."

"Solarstocks appear to be reflecting the challenging cyclical environment that hasemerged in recent quarters," Goldman said, as reported by TheStreet.

dipped0.70% on about average volume to close at $56.41, after its quarterly dividend to 47cents per share, or $1.88 per share annualized, from 46.75 cents per share.

soared 29.43% in active trading to $13.81, after announcing its plans topurchase oil and gas assets, including a 50% stake in Carnero Processing LLC,from Sanchez Energy Corp.The $107 million drop-down transaction is expected to increase the company'sliquidity.

Amongother midstream players, MemorialProduction Partners declined 8.24% to 1.56, gave up 3.89% to$4.20 and Energy Transfer EquityLP moved back 3.27% to $15.95.

Incoal territory, Westmoreland CoalCo. dipped 2.81% on about average volume to $8.64, slid1.41% in light tradingto $6.00 and Alliance ResourcePartners LP retreated 0.80% on below-average volume to $22.25. TheSNL Coal Index declined 0.56% to 73.33.

Naturalgas futures surgedpast another major resistance point Oct. 7, despite the recent report of alarger-than-expected injection into U.S. natural gas inventory. After falling to a$2.927/MMBtu low Thursday in response to the reported net 80-Bcf injection forthe week to Sept. 30, market bulls were emboldened as the contract settledhigher in the week's final session, at $3.193/MMBtu.

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