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Thursday's Energy Stocks: Brexit deal, Turkish ceasefire boost US markets

U.S. stocks closed the Thursday, Oct. 17, session on modestly higher ground as investors looked toward an improving geopolitical climate on news that the U.K. and EU reached a Brexit deal and a Turkish agreement for a five-day ceasefire in Syria.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the session up 0.09% to 27,025.88, and the S&P 500 settled at 2,997.95, up 0.28%

Oil and gas companies moved mixed to ultimately higher, with the S&P 500 Energy sector nudging higher by 0.04% to 422.97.

Range Resources Corp. advanced by 5.85% to $3.80; EQT Corp. shares rose 4.08% to $9.95; and Apache Corp. gained 1.65% to $22.12, all in below-average trading.

Marathon Petroleum Corp. added 2.25% in active trading to $64.10 following a report that its board members are meeting with activist investors to discuss the future of CEO Gary Heminger and the company's strategy.

Baker Hughes a GE company settled at $22.08, up 0.41% in light trading, following an announcement that it changed its name to Baker Hughes Co., with its class A common stock to begin trading Oct. 18 on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol BKR.

Carrizo Oil & Gas Inc. added 3.59% on above-average volume to $8.09 after the company estimated that its third-quarter production rose by 6%.

Gulfport Energy Corp. shares rose 3.31% in below-average trade to $2.81 after the firm reported a year-on-year increase in third-quarter production.

On the other hand, Noble Energy Inc. shed 3.40% in above-average trading to exit the Thursday session at $19.61.

Midstream and pipeline partnerships leaned mixed to ultimately lower for the Thursday session, with the Alerian MLP Index down 0.47% to 220.44.

Losses were seen at DCP Midstream LP, which fell 2.89% in active trading to $22.88. NGL Energy Partners LP units were down 2.86% in average trade to settle at $11.19.

Western Midstream Partners LP tumbled 2.67% in slightly below-average trade to $22.97. The partnership increased its third-quarter cash distribution and made changes to its management team, which included the appointment of Michael Pearl as senior vice president and CFO.

Conversely, Antero Midstream Corp. added 3.73% in light trade to close the Oct. 17 session at $7.51.

TC Energy Corp. added 0.55% in light trade on the New York Stock Exchange to $51.47. The firm declared force majeure on its Keystone crude oil pipeline shipments after a snowstorm affected its operations in Manitoba.

Most electric and diversified utilities closed the Thursday session with gains. The S&P 500 Utilities Sector added 0.23% to 322.76.

Notable performers included Entergy Corp., which added 1.07% on more than twice average volume to close at $117.28. Edison International gained 1.03% to $70.56 and Alliant Energy Corp. shares increased by 0.86% to $52.74, both in below-average trading.

FirstEnergy Corp. saw a 0.65% increase in light trading to close at $48.11. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Alan Koschik on Oct. 16 confirmed the Chapter 11 reorganization plan of its subsidiary FirstEnergy Solutions Corp. The judge also approved contract settlement agreements reached by FirstEnergy Solutions, with TerraForm Power LLC, BNSF Railway Co. and Norfolk Southern Corp.

On the other hand, Exelon Corp. closed the session at $44.06, down 1.89% on more than triple average volume.

Coal companies mostly closed the day with gains. CNX Resources Corp. rose 3.41% to $7.59, and Arch Coal Inc. added 0.79% to $79.46, both in below-average trading.

Peabody Energy Corp. shares were up 1.65% in light trading to close at $15.97. The company announced another mine closure in the Illinois basin.

Solar firms mostly continued the uptrend, with SunPower Corp. gaining 1.94% to $9.46 and automobile manufacturer Tesla Inc. up 0.85% to $261.97, both in below-average trading.

Sunnova Energy International Inc. advanced by 3.91% in light trading to $10.63. The company appointed the former U.S. Ambassador to Costa Rica Anne Slaughter Andrew to its board.

TerraForm Power Inc. nudged higher by 0.24% on below-average volume to $16.90. The company's subsidiary TerraForm Power Operating LLC on Oct. 16 completed a $700 million private offering.

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