Chesapeake, Ensco Lead Energy Stocks Higher
From Market Watch
By Steve Gelsi
Natural gas producer Chesapeake Energy Corp. and oil service firm Ensco PLC delivered fresh gains to energy stocks on the heels of key economic data on Friday.
At the closing bell, energy stocks headed further into positive territory for the week as Chesapeake Energy Corp. CHK -0.06% jumped 4.1%, Ensco ESV +0.14% rose 3.4% and EQT Corp. EQT +2.30% advanced by 2.3%.
The gains came after the Energy Information Administration reported a decline of 135 billion cubic feet in natural gas supplies. Lending support to energy stocks, natural gas futures rose to $3.28 per million British thermal units, up 8 cents, or 2.5%, after the data was released one day late because of the New Year’s Day.
The EIA also released crude oil and gasoline oil inventory data on Friday. See related story.
Among the major benchmarks in the energy sector, the NYSE Arca Oil Index XX:XOI +1.04% rose 1.1%, the NYSE Arca Natural Gas Index XX:XNG +1.62% moved up by 1.6% and the Philadelphia Oil Service Index OSX +2.30% jumped 2.3%.
The Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund XLE +0.09% , which includes energy stocks contained in the S&P 500 Index, rose 1.1%.
Exxon Mobil Corp. XOM +0.04% rose 0.5%, while Chevron Corp. CVX +0.11% moved up 0.5%. The oil producers are components of the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA +0.33% which rose 44 points after the monthly U.S. jobs report See: U.S. gains 155,000 jobs.
Energy stocks boosted by equities rally
Stoked by a big stock market rally on the first trading day of the year on Wednesday, energy stocks wrapped up the holiday-shortened week with solid gains.
The NYSE Arca Oil Index closed at 1,278 on Friday, up from 1,242 in the last trading day of 2012 on Monday. The index of oil producers and refiners is trading at its highest levels since October.
The NYSE Arca Natural Gas Index closed Friday at 673, up from 650 as of Dec. 31’s close. It’s also at levels not seen since last October.
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