Energy stocks are broadly lower with the NYSE Energy Sector Index sinking 1.2% while shares of energy companies in the S&P 500 are down over 1.6% as a group. Crude oil for December delivery settled $1.44 lower at $96.86 per barrel while November natural gas was 4 cents higher to $3.62 per 1 million BTU.
In company news, shares of refiner companies are higher today, resisting downward pressure from a new research report forecasting little to no earnings growth for the sector in upcoming quarters.
In a new note to clients, analysts at Simmons & Co. today said Q3 earnings for refiners have been generally weak and could show further declines in Q4 and into next year as domestic gasoline supplies continue to expand due to falling demand market and few refinery repairs are scheduled.
Despite the downbeat prospects, shares of Tesoro Corp ( TSO ) are up 1.3% in late trade while Marathon Petroleum Corp ( MPC ) is ahead 0.4% and Valero ( VLO ) is holding on to a 0.1% gain.
In other sector news,
(-) BP, (-0.5%) U.K. government said Wednesday it was taking steps to allow BP to restart production at a North Sea natural-gas field closed since 2010 because it is partly owned by an affiliate of Iran's state-controlled oil company.
(-) NBR, (-4.9%) Reports Q3 adjusted EPS of $0.20, down from a $0.42 per share profit in year-ago quarter but topping expectation by a penny. Revenue declines 5.4% year over year to $1.55 bln trail expectations by around $38 mln.
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