Energy stocks are set to start higher this morning with
President Obama last night voicing strong supporting for hydraulic
fracturing -- more commonly known as fracking -- during his State
of the Union address in a call for an "all-out effort" to expand
natural gas extraction, creating as many as 600,000 new U.S. jobs
by the end of the decade.
Crude oil is lower, with the March contract for light, sweet
crude down 73 cents at $98.26 per barrel. Natural gas continues to
gain after reaching a 10-year low last week, with natural gas for
February delivery up 8.1 cents to $2.635 per 1 million British
Thermal Units. The EIA weekly inventory reports are due out with
analysts in a Dow Jones Newswires survey, on average, expecting
crude oil stocks rose by 700,000 barrels last week as refiners
modestly trimmed operations.
In earnings news, Norfolk Southern (
) was lower in late trading yesterday after beating consensus calls
for Q4 earnings by $0.02, posting a $1.42 per share profit, but
misseds on revenues despite a 16.9% year over year increase to $2.8
billion. Analysts, on average, were expecting $2.83 billion in
revenues, according to Capital IQ/Briefing.com. Coal revenues were
24% higher than a year ago, rising to $850 million during Q4.
A slew of energy producers are scheduled to report earnings
today with Hess (
) projected for a $1.30 EPS, ConocoPhillips (
) seen earning $1.89 a share and Occidental Petroleum (
) anticipated by analysts to produce a $1.97 a share profit in
announcement all due out this morning. Murphy Oil is slated to
report tonight, with analysts expecting net income of $1.40 a
share, up from $0.90 last year.
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