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Friday's Energy Stocks: Cloud Peak shares decline after stalling debt payment

Major U.S. stock indices were buoyed by a rally among technology stocks, on Friday, March 15, while energy equities closed mixed. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.54% to close at 25,848.87, and the S&P 500 picked up 0.50% to end at 2,822.48.

Cloud Peak Energy Inc. shares slumped 51.65% on nearly 7x average volume to settle at 22.55 cents, after opting to not pay a $1.8 million interest payment due March 15, triggering a 30-day grace period to make the payment before the company would default and accelerate the maturity of the debt.

Cloud Peak reported a full-year 2018 net loss of $718.0 million, or $9.49 per share, compared to a loss of $6.6 million, or 9 cents per share, in 2017.

Among other coal companies, Peabody Energy Corp. climbed 1.66% in active trading to $29.43, and Consol Energy Inc. added 1.71% in robust trading to $37.38. Arch Coal Inc. declined 1.79% on brisk volume to $90.82.

Electric and diversified utilities tracked broader market gains as the S&P 500 Utilities Sector finished up 0.47% to 295.41.

TerraForm Power Inc. rose 0.40% in brisk trading to settle at $12.60, after reporting fourth-quarter 2018 adjusted EBITDA of $170 million, an increase from $110 million in the same quarter of 2017. The results missed the S&P Global Market Intelligence consensus adjusted EBITDA estimate of $179.7 million.

According to CreditSights analysts Andrew DeVries and Nick Moglia, Exelon Corp. and Public Service Enterprise Group Inc. are unlikely to sell or spin off their highly valued generation businesses given their importance to earnings growth and uncertainty around carbon regulations.

Exelon shares rose 0.77% on strong volume to finish at $50.00, while PSEG's stock price nudged up 0.15% to close at $59.73.

Other top performers included MGE Energy Inc., up 2.46% to $66.20; WEC Energy Group Inc., which settled 1.62% higher to $78.88; PNM Resources Inc., which climbed 1.38% to $47.17; and CenterPoint Energy Inc., which added 1.32% to $30.81, all in robust trading.

Among oil and gas majors, National Oilwell Varco Inc. shed 2.07% to $26.48; Halliburton Co. closed down 1.76% to $27.97; and Schlumberger Ltd. declined 1.62% to $42.39, all on strong volume.

Sunoco LP completed a private offering of $600 million of 6.000% senior notes due 2027, with proceeds to be used to pay off some of the outstanding borrowings under its $1.5 billion revolving credit facility. The partnership earned 0.70% on light volume to finish at $30.22.

The S&P 500 Energy Sector dropped 0.08% to settle at 484.84, and the Alerian MLP Index slid 0.18% to close at 250.46.

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