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Friday's Energy Stocks: Stocks extend decline on fears of US government shutdown

U.S. stocks and energy equities continued to decline on Friday, Dec. 21, driven by fears of an extended government shutdown.

A prolonged shutdown, possibly beginning at midnight Dec. 21 if the U.S. Congress and President Trump were not able to resolve a budget impasse, could have bigger consequences, such as postponing court deadlines in cases where the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is a defendant and halting some permitting activities for energy production in federal areas.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 1.81% to close the day at 22,445.37, and the S&P 500 slumped 2.06% to settle at 2,416.62.

PG&E Corp. shares slid 4.61% in brisk trading to end at $22.75. According to Moody's, recent allegations that utility subsidiary Pacific Gas and Electric Co. broke gas safety rules and falsified related records could reflect poorly on the utility's corporate governance and, consequently, drag on the utility and its parent company's credit ratings.

Recovering from the previous day's losses, Sunrun Inc. advanced 4.01% on strong volume to finish at $10.90. The company has issued $322 million of solar asset-backed series 2018-1, class A notes at an issue price of $317.3 million, and at an original issue discount of approximately 1.47%.

Among other electric and diversified utilities, Edison International lost 3.57% to conclude at $56.18, and NRG Energy Inc. shed 2.64% to close at $37.21, both in robust trading. The S&P 500 Utilities Sector dropped 0.70% to 273.36.

American Midstream Partners LP completed the sale of its refined products terminaling business to Energy Transfer LP fuel distributor Sunoco LP for roughly $125 million in cash. American Midstream Partners was unchanged at $4.49; Energy Transfer declined 4.67% to close at $12.24; and Sunoco shed 3.52% to end at $25.25. All traded on heavy volume.

Cheniere Energy Inc. shares closed down 3.07% in active trading to settle at $57.11. The company asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for permission to begin testing on the second train of its Corpus Christi LNG export terminal in Texas.

Among oil and gas majors, Halliburton Co. lost 4.75% to $25.85; Hess Corp. was down 4.64% to $41.49; and Noble Energy Inc. receded 3.51% to $18.17, all in strong trading.

The S&P 500 Energy sector lost 1.05% to 415.06, and the Alerian MLP Index was down 1.78% to 221.33.

Cloud Peak Energy Inc. finished 11.13% higher in brisk trading to 53 cents.

The company will be removed from the S&P SmallCap 600 prior to the opening of trading Jan. 3, 2019. S&P Global Inc. said the pure-play Powder River Basin coal mining company is ranked near the bottom of the S&P Dow Jones Indices' index and is no longer representative of the small-cap marketplace.

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