Wall Street capped the Friday, Dec. 20, trading session with new record highs, while energy and utility indices also settled the day with gains.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 0.28% higher to 28,455.09, and the S&P 500 lifted 0.49% to settle at 3,221.22.
Notable gainers among oil and gas companies included Cabot Oil & Gas Corp., which advanced 2.35% on strong volume to $17.41; Helmerich & Payne Inc., which added 1.87% in brisk trading to $44.20; and Hess Corp., which rose 1.81% on above-average volume to $64.84.
Diverging from the general trend, Gulfport Energy Corp. shares dropped 7.69% in brisk trading to $3.06, after the company agreed to sell its water infrastructure assets across its SCOOP position to Oklahoma-based water service provider Bison Oilfield Services LLC.
It expects to receive $50 million upon closing, which is expected in January 2020, and as well as potential incentive payments in excess of $50 million over the next 15 years, subject to the company's ability to meet certain thresholds.
Callon Petroleum Co. lost 3.60% to close at $4.55, and Carrizo Oil & Gas Inc. shed 5.09% to end at $7.83, both on strong volume, after Carrizo shareholders finally approved Callon's $3.2 billion acquisition of Carrizo.
Shares of Extraction Oil & Gas Inc. declined 1.93% in active trading to $2.03, after S&P Global Ratings downgraded the company's issuer credit rating to B- from B and its issue-level rating on the company's unsecured debt to B- from B, with a negative outlook.
Class A shares of Royal Dutch Shell PLC were down 1.22% on strong volume to $58.18, following the announcement that the company will write-down between $1.7 billion and $2.3 billion in assets during the fourth quarter due to a weak macroeconomic outlook. According to analysts, the disclosure could slow down the company's efforts to cut debt and hike returns.
The S&P 500 Energy Sector closed 0.88% higher to 452.48, and the Alerian MLP Index edged up 0.09% up to 217.75.
Avangrid Inc. shares increased 1.33% in brisk trading to $51.80. Two of its utilities reached a settlement agreement with New York regulators and Gov. Andrew Cuomo over their response to winter storm outages in 2018, accepting penalties of $10.5 million.
American Electric Power Co. Inc. climbed 0.99% to $94.90, and Alliant Energy Corp. picked up 1.35% to $54.95, both on strong volume, after Scotiabank upgraded both companies to "sector outperform" from "sector perform."
Among other electric and diversified utility companies, Edison International moved up 2.41% to $75.19; Ameren Corp. rose 1.48% to $76.57; and AES Corp. edged 1.33% higher to $19.81, all in brisk trading.
The S&P 500 Utilities Sector settled 0.78% higher to 328.25.
Also of note, Class A shares of Clearway Energy Inc. were up 2.46% to $19.17 on more than double average volume, while Avista Corp. dipped 1.37% to $48.40 on more than triple average volume.
Federal records show U.S. coal producers mined 1.09 billion tons of coal in 2010, a figure the U.S. Energy Information Administration expects to drop by more than one-third this year, to 697 million tons.
Among coal shares, Hallador Energy Co. shed 4.68% to $2.65; Arch Coal Inc. lost 3.69% to $70.41; and Ramaco Resources Inc. slid 1.57% to $3.14, all in active trading.
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. Descriptions in this news article were not prepared by S&P Global Ratings.