Energy stocks traded sharply higher Monday afternoon, with the NYSE Energy Sector Index climbing 2.8% while the Energy Sector SPDR ETF (XLE) was up 3.1%. Front-month West Texas Intermediate crude oil rose $1.73 to $73.37 per barrel, while the global benchmark Brent advanced $1.13 to $74.64 per barrel. Henry Hub natural gas futures were $0.04 lower at $3.18 per million BTU. In company news, Torchlight Energy Resources (TRCH) surged 73.5% to an all-time high after the oil and gas producer Monday extended the closing date for its proposed business combination with Canadian electromagnetic films company Metamaterials until June 30, saying that would provide enough time to complete Friday's scheduled pro-rata distribution of series A preferred shares to its common shareholders. The stock was also generating attention and support from retail investors on Reddit.