The S&P 500 declined during a four-day holiday-shortened week, falling 0.67% through Thursday's close as shares of energy and material companies followed their underlying commodities lower. Financial stocks - in particular, financial services companies - also retreated, dropping almost 2% as a group. Heading in the other direction, health care stocks rebounded this week, rising 0.82%, with utility stocks extending their steady advance, rising another 0.58%, while technology stocks squeezed out a 0.07% gain.
Among individual companies, Transocean ( RIG ) plunged 19.9% this week after CEO Jeremy Thigpen warned day rates for the oilfield-services firm may not recover until 2019, explaining "(20)16 and '17 are going to be tough." Williams Cos ( WMB ) slumped 13.5% after merger partner Energy Transfer Equity ( ETE ) slashed earnings expectations for the proposed $14 billion tie-up of pipeline companies, also sending Energy Transfer into a 12.6% skid. Pipeline companies were not a complete washout this week, with Columbia Pipeline Group (GPGX) posting a 6.5% weekly gain after accepting a $13 billion buyout offer from TransCanada Corp ( TRP ) on Wednesday. But the big winner this week was Pepco Holdings ( POM ), with the electric utility going out on top with a 22.4% advance during its final week in the S&P 500 after Exelon (EXC) completed its buyout, creating the largest U.S. utility company. Hologic Inc. (HOLX), a medical device company, was tapped to replace Pepco in the S&P 500 after the close of trading Tuesday.
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