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Monday's Energy Stocks: Apache leads sector, broader market rally

Editor's note: The daily markets column will be discontinued on Dec. 31. Daily stock pricing moves are available on the "Markets and Deals, Pricing Highlights" page of the Market Intelligence platform.

Broader markets held on to gains and closed at record highs for another trading session on Monday, Dec. 23, after China announced that it will lower import tariffs on more than 850 product categories.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 0.34% to 28,551.53, and the S&P 500 settled 0.09% higher to 3,224.01.

In the energy sector, oil and gas companies, as well as master limited partnerships also finished the day with gains.

Apache Corp.'s stock price surged 17.29% on nearly 4x average trading volume to $26.53, after the company formed a joint venture with Total SA to develop Block 58 offshore Suriname. In exchange for a 50% interest in Block 58, Total has agreed to provide Apache with $100 million upfront and another $75 million on first oil production and to reimburse half of the Block 58 costs incurred thus far.

Denbury Resources Inc. rose 1.48% in active trading to settle at $1.37. The company agreed to divest 50% of its working interest in four oil fields in southeast Texas for $50 million and a carried interest in 10 wells, which will be drilled by Navitas Petroleum LP.

In other oil and gas stocks, TechnipFMC PLC gained 3.46% on light volume to $21.22; Schlumberger Ltd. added 3.45% in below-average trading to $40.79; and EQT Corp. climbed 3.23% on slightly above-average volume to $10.88.

Among master limited partnerships, Western Midstream Partners LP increased 4.76% in strong trading to $20.69; Antero Midstream Corp. edged up 4.18% on brisk volume to $7.22; and TC PipeLines LP climbed 3.23% on heavy volume to $41.57.

The S&P 500 Energy Sector lifted 1.06% to 457.28, and the Alerian MLP Index advanced 1.08% to 220.09.

Reversing the broader trend, most electric and diversified utilities settled lower as the S&P 500 Utilities Sector declined 0.98% to 325.02.

Among notable movers, Xcel Energy Inc. declined 1.76% to $63.02; NextEra Energy Inc. shed 1.62% to $238.78; and WEC Energy Group Inc. retreated 1.48% to $91.48, all in below-average trading.

Other decliners included MGE Energy Inc., down 2.44% to $77.87, and NorthWestern Corp., down 1.83% to $71.38, both in below-average trading.

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