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Sector Update: Energy

Energy shares are higher as crude oil ended nearly 2% higher for the session thanks to upbeat price forecast upgrades by Goldman Sachs (GS) and Morgan Stanley (MS). Analysts at Goldman Sachs (GS) raised their year-end forecasts for Europe's benchmark Brent crude by around $20 a barrel for 2011 and 2012, to $120 a barrel this year, MarketWatch reported. Light, sweet crude oil for July delivery finished up 1.9% to $99.59 a barrel. In energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund (USO) is up 2.1% to $39.28. The United States Natural Gas ETF (UNG) is up 0.09% at $11.14. In late-session energy news, El Paso ( EP ) shares have backed off session highs but are still firmly in positive territory after it said its board of directors has granted initial approval of a plan to separate the company into two publicly traded businesses by year-end 2011. Meanwhile, Marathon Oil ( MRO ) firms after it says the Internal Revenue Service provided a favorable private letter ruling confirming the tax-free status of the planned spin-off of the company's downstream business.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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