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Sector Update: Energy

Energy stocks added to their earlier losses late Friday, with the NYSE Energy Sector Index sinking about 0.5% while shares of energy companies in the S&P 500 were down 0.8% as a group. Crude oil for August delivery resumed its two-week slide, settling $2.10 lower at $100.83 per barrel while August natural gas rose 3 cents to $4.15 per 1 million BTU.

In company news, Westmoreland Coal ( WLB ) rose to a new all-time high Friday, suffering no ill effects of the miner today pricing 1.46 million shares of its common stock at $35.50 apiece, a 4% discount to Thursday's closing price.

The company expects to use the net proceeds from this offering, including any funds from the exercise of underwriters options to purchase up to 219,718 additional shares, for general corporate purposes and increasing its financial flexibility while pursuing its organic and acquisition growth strategy.

WLB shares were up more than 5% at $39.00 apiece, earlier climbing to a record high of $39.80 a share. Over the past 12 months, the stock has more than tripled in value, rising 224%.

In other sector news,

(+) MPC, Citigroup upgrade to Buy from Neutral, citing efforts to diversify cash flow, including its $2.8 bln purchase of refinery assets from Hess ( HES ). Price target raised by $2 to $96 a share.

(-) CVX, Expects Q2 production will decline from year-ago levels, with the oil company producing 2.6 million barrels of oil and gas during April and May, down 0.6% from same quarter last year. It will report full results on Aug. 1.

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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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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