Energy stocks were mostly higher this afternoon, aided earlier by reports nine US producers were expecting to lease room for 23 million barrels of crude oil from the federal government at the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. At last look, the NYSE Energy Sector Index climbing 1.6% while the SPDR Energy Select Sector ETF also was up 1.9%.
Front-month West Texas Intermediate crude oil turned narrowly lower this afternoon, slipping 6 cents to $12.72 per barrel while the global benchmark Brent crude contract still was advancing 10 cents to $20.09 per barrel. Natural gas futures were unchanged at $1.82 per 1 million BTU.
Among energy-related ETFs, the United States Oil Fund was falling 1.8% while the United States Natural Gas fund was increasing 1.8%. The Philadelphia Oil Service Sector index was posting a more than 4.0% gain.
In company news, CNX Resources (CNX) tumbled 15% after the oil and natural gas producer Tuesday disclosed plans for $300 million offering of convertible senior notes maturing in 2026. Net proceeds will be used for general corporate purposes and covering the cost of hedging through capped call deals.
Murphy Oil (MUR) declined fractionally after BMO Capital Tuesday lowered its stock rating for for explorations and production company to market perform from outperform previously while maintaining a $9 price target for the stock.
EQM Midstream Partners (EQM) was unchanged after it announced a Q1 dividend of $0.3875 per common unit, down by nearly 67% from the previous payout of $1.16.
EQM Midstream Partners (EQM) fell 2.1% after the pipeline and infrastructure company late Monday declared a Q1 distribution of $0.3875 per unit, down almost 67% from its most recent quarterly dividend and payable May 14 to investors of record on May 5. The company May 14 also will pay a $1.0365 per unit distribution for its Series A preferred stock, unchanged from the prior quarter.