Energy stocks have narrowed most of their Thursday morning retreat, with the NYSE Energy Sector Index falling 0.1% this afternoon while the SPDR Energy Select Sector ETF also was down about 0.1%.
Front-month West Texas Intermediate crude oil was rising 12 cents to $42.02 per barrel at the New York Mercantile Exchange while the global benchmark Brent crude contract was declining 5 cents to $44.24 per barrel. Natural gas futures were 9 cents higher at $1.7 per 1 million BTU.
Among energy-related ETFs, the United States Oil Fund was ahead 0.2% while the United States Natural Gas fund was increasing 6.1%. The Philadelphia Oil Service Sector index was posting a 2.6% gain.
In company news, Dorchester Minerals (DMLP) fell 2% after the natural gas and oil royalty partnership announced a 52.6% reduction in its Q2 distribution to investors compared with Q1 reflecting a drop in cash receipts to $6.3 million from around $12.1 million in Q1. The upcoming distribution of $0.226318 per unit is payable August 13 to investors of record on August 3, down from its $0.477891 per unit Q1 distribution.
Suncor Energy (SU) also was retreating, dropping almost 3% in recent trade, after the Canadian oil and natural gas producer reported a Q2 operating loss of CAD0.98 per share, reversing a CAD0.80 per share operating profit during the same quarter last year and missing the Capital IQ consensus expecting a CAD0.62 per share loss.
Helix Energy Solutions Group (HLX) raced 21% higher after the energy services company late Wednesday reported Q2 net income of $0.04 per share, down from $0.11 per share during the year-ago period but still exceeding Wall Street expectations for $0.02 per share quarterly loss. Revenue slipped 1.3% year-over-year to $199.1 million but also beat the $175.2 million analyst mean.
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