Energy shares are mostly higher as crude futures back off yesterday's high to trade below $89 a barrel and AGL Resources ( AGL ) and Nicor ( GAS ) consummate a $2.4 billion merger. Crude oil for January delivery traded down $0.78 to $88.60 a barrel. In energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund ( USO ) is just lower, down 0.7% to $37.96. The United States Natural Gas ETF ( UNG ) is down 1.32% to $6.10. The U.S Dollar Index (DXY) is up 0.22% to $79.74. In sector news, shares of El Paso Corp. ( EP ) are just higher in mid-day trading on news that Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. will pay $125 million in a new half-and-half joint venture with an El Paso unit, according a MarketWatch report. Also, shares of AGL Resources ( AGL ) and Nicor ( GAS ) are mixed as the two companies agreed to a $2.4 billion merger, creating a combined company with more than 4.3 million customers.
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