Sector Update: Energy

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Energy stocks are mostly higher with the NYSE Energy Sector Index rising 0.6% while shares of energy companies in the S&P 500 are up almost 0.8% as a group. Crude oil for April delivery is up 27 cents at $99.70 per barrel while March natural gas is up 11 cents to $4.38 per 1 million BTU.

In company news, shares of Swift Energy ( SFY ) advanced Tuesday after the natural gas and oil producer said it has completed and tested three new wells in the Eagle Ford shale formation in Texas, with each of the wells producing around 22.1 million cubic feet of gas per day, on average.

The three new wells all are located in Webb County. The company earlier in the quarter also completed three more wells in nearby McMullen county, which averaged around 1,212 barrels of oil equivalent per day during their initial testing.

"We are very pleased with our continuing operational improvements in these two key areas of our Eagle Ford acreage," CEO Terry Swift said in prepared remarks, adding the company's consistent results will contribute to its short-term goals of reducing debt and boosting its liquidity profile.

SFY was ahead 3.7% at $10.78 a share in recent trade, earlier climbing to an intra-day high of $11.02 a share. The stock has a 52-week range of $8.80 to $15.75 a share.

In other sector news,

(+) PBR, (+1.4%) Shares of the state-run energy company rebound after Standard & Poor's downgrades Brazil's sovereign debt rating to BBB- from BBB, one notch above junk status, forecasting 1.8% GDP growth in 2014 and 2.0% in 2015.

(-) ANR (-3.2%) Reduced to Hold from Buy at Jefferies, which believes the coal miner overpaid when it spent $7.7 bln for "very low quality" Massey Energy three years ago. Jefferies also downgrades Arch Coal ( ACI ) to Hold from Buy.



The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

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This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

Referenced Stocks: SFY , ACI

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