Energy stocks are higher in late trade with the NYSE Energy Sector Index gaining 0.6% while shares of energy companies in the S&P 500 are up 0.3% as a group. Crude oil for December delivery settled 7 cents higher at $93.82 per barrel while December natural gas rose 6 cents to $3.66 per 1 million BTU.
In company news, Chevron Corp ( CVX ) is narrowly higher in late trade, reversing small declines earlier in the session after a refinery fire in Pascagoula, Miss., early today killed one worker but caused no other injuries.
The fire started at 2 a.m. local time in the furnace of a process unit at the 50-year-old facility. Refinery crews were able to quickly extinguish the blaze and there was no danger to the community, CVX officials said.
The cause of the blast remains under investigation. The incident came less than a day after excavation workers Thursday morning struck a CVX pipeline in Texas, causing it to rupture and catch fire, forcing the evacuation of a small, nearby town.
In other sector news,
(+) LINE, SEC declares its S-4 filing effective, allowing the firm and holding company LinnCo ( LNCO ) to begin mailing proxy materials in support of its proposed $4.9-bln buyout of Berry Petroleum ( BRY ). Sets Dec. 16 for shareholder votes on the deal.
(+) COP, Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-A) reduces its stake in the energy major by 44% over the three months ended Sept. 30, now owning 13.5 mln shares, according to a regulatory filing. Also discloses new $3.7-bln stake in Exxon-Mobil ( XOM ).
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