Energy stocks were narrowly mixed this afternoon, with the NYSE Energy Sector Index climbing 0.2% while the SPDR Energy Select Sector ETF (XLE) was down 0.2%.
Front-month West Texas Intermediate crude oil was sinking $0.14 to $80.50 per barrel while the global benchmark Brent crude contract also was declining $0.17 to $83.25 per barrel. Henry Hub natural gas futures were flat at $5.51 per 1 million BTU.
Among energy-related ETFs, the United States Oil Fund (USO) was ahead less than 0.1% while the United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was adding 1.2%. The Philadelphia Oil-Service Sector index was posting a 0.3% gain and the Dow Jones US Utilities Index was ahead 1.0%.
In company news, Plug Power (PLUG) gained over 11% after the hydrogen engines and fueling company made an unspecified equity investment in privately held Airflow and will work with the company to develop and certify a hydrogen fuel cell-based propulsion system for its electric-powered short takeoff and landing aircraft.
Vistra (VST) rose more than 10% after the electric utility authorized a new $2 billion stock buyback program to replace its existing repurchase program that had about $1.33 billion remaining. The company overnight also priced a $1 billion private placement of 1 million shares of its 8% Series A fixed-rate reset cumulative redeemable perpetual preferred stock at $1,000 apiece.
JinkoSolar (JKS) shares increased 1% after the company's monocrystalline silicon solar cell produced a best-ever 25.4% maximum solar conversion efficiency as verified by Japan Electrical Safety and Environment Technology Laboratories.
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