Energy stocks are ending higher today with the NYSE Energy
Sector Index gaining around 0.6% while shares of energy companies
in the S&P 500 are almost 0.7% higher as a group. July crude
oil rose 67 cents to settle at $98.44 per barrel while July natural
gas added 3 cents and finished at $3.91 per 1 mln BTU.
In company news, Williams Companies ( WMB ) is down about
1.1% to $33.27 a share in late trade, trading underwater after
Goldman Sachs dropped the energy and chemical company from its
Conviction Buy list and lowered its price target for the stock.
According to reports, Goldman believes last week's explosion at
the Geismar chemical plant near Baton Rouge, La., adds material
risk to near-term growth of both WMB and its affiliated Williams
Partners L.P. ( WPZ
) - putting dividend growth targets at both firms at risk.
The research shop is maintaining a Buy recommendation for the
stock but also lowered its price target by $5 to $40 a share.
WPZ shares are down about 0.2% this afternoon, paring its losses
shortly before the close.
In other sector news,
(+) WLT, Morgan stanley today reiterates its Overweight rating
for the stock and set a $47 a share price target - suggesting as
much as a threefold increase in its stock price.
(-) SFL, Files to sell 8 mln shares in an underwritten offering.
Net proceeds would be used to invest in new assets in the shipping
and offshore sectors as well as for general corporate purposes.
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