Energy stocks extended their market-leading advance this afternoon, with the NYSE Energy Sector Index climbing 3.7% while the SPDR Energy Select Sector ETF was up 4.2%. The Philadelphia Oil-Service Sector index was posting a 5.7% gain and the Dow Jones US Utilities Index was ahead 1.4%. Front-month West Texas Intermediate crude oil was $2.02 higher at $73.66 per barrel while the global benchmark Brent crude contract was advancing $1.38 to $74.88 per barrel. Henry Hub natural gas futures fell $0.02 to $3.19 per 1 million BTU. In company news, Duke Energy (DUK) was 1.8% higher after the utility company Monday said it filed an application with the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission to renew the operating licenses for its Oconee Nuclear Station in Seneca, SC, for an additional 20 years.