Top Energy Stocks
Energy stocks pared some of their earlier declines this afternoon, with the NYSE Energy Sector Index sinking about 0.9% while shares of energy companies in the S&P 500 were down about 0.9% as a group. Crude oil for September delivery settled 3 cents lower at $50.89 per barrel while September natural gas futures rose 2 cents to $2.87 per 1 million BTU.
In company news, KNOT Offshore Partners LP ( KNOP ) equity units fell Friday, with the oil tanker company getting little apparent help from declaring last night a quarterly cash distribution of $0.51 per unit, unchanged from its previous dividend and is payable Aug. 14 to shareholders of record on Aug. 3.
KNOP units were down almost 7% at $16.55 apiece, earlier dropping to a session low of $16.12 a share. Before Friday's trading, the stock already had declined almost 37% over the past 12 months.
In other sector news,
(-) WMB, Gives back early gains that followed Energy Transfer Equity LP's ( ETE ) confirming confidentiality agreement and saying it will participate in asset auction by WMB. ETE previously offered $48 bln in a unsuccessful WMB takeover bid.
(-) NGS, Reduced to Neutral from Buy at Global Hunter Securites, which also trimmed its price target for the stock by $3 to $23 a share.
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