Friday, October 5, 2012

First Solar, Cabot Help Pace Energy Gains

Energy stocks closed higher Tuesday as oil prices strengthened and the broader equities market advanced, with shares of First Solar Inc. posting solid gains.

The Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund (US:XLE) rose 1.1%. The fund contains energy stocks included in the S&P 500 Index (US:SPX).

Among that group, First Solar (US:FSLR) rose 4.9% in the latest in a series of big moves by the company’s stock.

Separately, First Solar said it struck a power-purchase agreement with Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (US:PCG) for 72 megawatts of solar power from two plants under development in central California. The agreement will provide electricity for about 24,000 homes, the company said.

Also making gains at the closing bell, Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. (US:COG) rose 5.7%, Alpha Natural Resources Inc. (US:ANR) added 7.7% and Denbury Resources Inc. (US:DNR) advanced by 4.6%.

Helping set the trading tone in energy stocks, crude-oil futures (US:CLV2) rose to close above $97 a barrel on speculation about a new stimulus plan from the Federal Reserve ahead of a meeting by the U.S. central bank this week.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (US:DJIA) rose 69 points, with blue-chip energy components Exxon Mobil Corp. (US:XOM) and Chevron Corp. (US:CVX) up by about 0.2% each.

Plains Exploration & Production Inc. (US:PXP) stabilized, adding 1.6% after a nearly 11% loss in the previous session on its $6 billion acquisition plan for oil fields in the Gulf of Mexico.


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