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Thursday's Energy Stocks: Wall Street, energy sector gain as 2017 nears the end

Broader markets inched into positive territory on Thursday, Dec. 28, helped partially by technology and bank shares and with energy benchmarks behaving in the same fashion.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average grew 0.26% to close at 24,837.51, and the S&P 500 added 0.18% to end the session at 2,687.54. The SNL Energy Index rose 0.57% to finish at 286.11.

The midstream sector clung to positive results on penultimate day of the year, with the SNL Midstream Energy Index increasing 0.73% to close at 109.71.

Among major component companies, Southwestern Energy Co. shares hiked 5.49% to end the day at $5.76 on above-average volume, Tallgrass Energy GP LP stock picked up 4.30% to $25.70 on high volume and EQT Corp. shares climbed 3.49% to end a slow day at $57.26.

Western Refining Logistics LP shed 1.85% to finish at $23.85 in heavy trading, EnLink Midstream Partners LP shares shaved off 1.33% to close at $15.62 on active volume, NGL Energy Partners LP capital lost 1.43% per share to close at $13.75 on light volume and CVR Refining LP gave away 1.23% per unit to end a slow day at $16.10.

In gas utilities business, Northwest Natural Gas Co. shares gained 1.78% to end the session at $59.95 on strong volume and New Jersey Resources Corp. stock ticked up 1.15% to finish the second-to-last session of the year at $39.70 on above-average volume.

The SNL Gas Utility Index rose 0.68% to close at 584.02.

Among power generators, NextEra Energy Partners stock grew 3.21% to close the day at $42.46, and NRG Energy Inc. shares added 1.12% to finish the session at $28.01, both on below-average volumes.

In the renewables sector, TerraForm Power Inc. shares hiked up 2.85% to wrap up the day at $11.89 on thin volume. Canadian Solar Inc. stock lost 1.46% to close the day at $16.90, and SunPower Corp. units retreated 1.25% to end the session at $8.68, both on below-average volume.

The SNL Merchant Generator Index increased 0.08% to close at 104.74.

The coal sector has positive day, with the SNL Coal Index rising 1.09% to end the session at 71.29. Among large coal extractors, CNX Resources Corp. shares added 3.31% to call it a day at $14.97 on brisk volume; Peabody Energy Corp. stock hiked 2.14% to $39.54 on light volume, and Arch Coal Inc. stock gained 1.67% in value, reaching $93.22 on slim volume.

February 2018 natural gas futures surged in their debut session as the lead contract on Thursday, Dec. 28. Gains came early as the market considered cold weather-related demand support, and extended higher following the midmorning release of U.S. Energy Information Administration storage data. Spanning $2.734/MMBtu to $2.945/MMBtu, the contract closed the session 18.2 cents higher at $2.914/MMBtu.

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