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Thursday's Energy Stocks: Dow declines 2.93% on trade fears

Broader markets fell on Thursday, March 22, as the specter of a trade war arose after President Donald Trump unveiled plans to impose $60 billion in annual tariffs on Chinese imports, and China threatened to retaliate. Most energy sector equities were dragged down as well.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 2.93% to finish the day at 23,957.89 and the S&P 500 slid 2.52% to close the day at 2,643.69.

It was another difficult day for the midstream sector as firms, including Shell Midstream Partners LP, Phillips 66 Partners LP and Tallgrass Energy Partners LP took losses. Shell Midstream declined 4.78% in brisk trading to $21.12, Phillips 66 Partners shares slipped 4.25% on above-average volume to close the day at $46.60 and Tallgrass Energy stock retreated 4.17% to end a light session at $35.88.

Kinder Morgan Inc. shares decreased 3.46% in robust volume to end at $15.36. Three police officers were injured at a construction site for Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain oil pipeline expansion as they arrested project opponents who stormed construction equipment.

Wolf Midstream Inc. completed its acquisition of the remaining 50% interest in Access Pipeline and 100% interest in the Stonefell Terminal from Canadian producer MEG Energy Corp. for C$1.61 billion. MEG Energy's stock shed 5.69% in heavy trading to close at C$4.81.

FirstEnergy Corp. stock grew 1.15% to finish the day at $34.45 on below average volume. The company secured PJM Interconnection approval shut down its 1,300-MW Pleasants coal power plant.

First Solar Inc. shed 2.41% to close at $72.09 on low volume and Covanta Holding Corp. lost 1.97% on light volume to close at $14.90. Duke Energy Corp. shares edged up 0.01% on light volume to end the session at $76.19, after the utility giant issued a report outlining plans to eliminate coal from its generation portfolio by 2050, among other initiatives.

Among diversified electric utilities, Fortis Inc. shares inched up 0.63% to end an average day at $33.48 after S&P Global Ratings revised its ratings on the company and its subsidiaries to negative from stable. The rating agency also affirmed an A- corporate rating on the companies.

In coal, Arch Coal Inc. shares fell 6.38% on below-average volume to close the day at $91.54, Warrior Met Coal Inc. lost 6.15% to end a light session at $29.58 and Peabody Energy Corp. gave away 4.25% on thin volume to finish at $38.26.

Ramaco Resources Inc. shares decreased 1.26% on light volume to close at $7.05. The company anticipates increasing its sales prices as the market becomes more familiar with its metallurgical coal products and it gains new customers, executives said.

A storage report that outlined a smaller-than-anticipated pull from stocks for the week to March 16 helped April natural gas futures decline on Thursday. The contract settled 2.1 cents lower at $2.617/MMBtu.

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

This S&P Global Market Intelligence news article may contain information about credit ratings issued by S&P Global Ratings, a separately managed division of S&P Global. Descriptions in this news article were not prepared by S&P Global Ratings. The original S&P Global Ratings documents referred to in this news brief can be found here and here.