Sector Update: Energy
Energy stocks are paring their losses slightly in afternoon trade, with the NYSE Energy Sector Index now down 0.77% and the S&P Energy Index slipping 1.00%. The recent gains come after crude oil also trimmed its earlier losses, with the NYMEX crude contract now off 18 cents at $83.85 a barrel after being down about $1 only 90 minutes ago.
In company news, shares of Hercules Offshore Inc ( HERO ) are down nearly 10% this afternoon after analysts at Raymond James lowered their rating rating for the oilfield service company to Market Perform.
The downgrade is affecting other oil and gas exploration and production shares, with ATP Oil & Gas ( ATPG ) also down 10% today following a near 30% surge during Friday trading.
Solar energy stocks are higher today, led by Westinghouse Solar ( WEST ), after the company and CBD Energy reported they have received a 5 million-megawatt purchase commitment from the commercial division of Harvey Norman, one of Australia's largest whitegoods and electrical retailers. Product shipments are expected to begin in calendar Q4 following a certification process for WEST systems with deliveries taking about six months.