Energy stocks were higher this afternoon, with the NYSE Energy Sector Index rising 1.1% and the SPDR Energy Select Sector ETF (XLE) up 1.2%.
The Philadelphia Oil-Service Sector index was posting a 0.6% advance and the Dow Jones US Utilities Index was sinking 0.3%.
West Texas Intermediate crude oil was rising $0.31 to $110.08 per barrel, paring a portion of its earlier advance after the Energy Information Administration Wednesday said US commercial inventories fell by 1 million barrels during the seven days ended May 20, lagging market forecasts for a 2.1 million-barrel decline last week. North Sea Brent crude was advancing $0.31 to $113.87 per barrel, while Henry Hub natural gas futures were $0.34 higher at $9.14 per 1 million BTU.
In company news, Hoegh LNG Partners (HMLP) rose over 31% after the liquefied natural gas transportation company Wednesday agreed to an increased $167.6 million buyout offer from general partner Hoegh LNG Holdings, which will pay $9.25 apiece for the 54.3% of the company's common units it doesn't already own, representing a 35% premium over Tuesday's closing price and up from its original $4.25-per-unit acquisition offer last year.
REX American Resources (REX) gained 4.5% after the ethanol producer reported Q1 net income of $0.87 per share, down from $1.30 per share during the same quarter last year but still exceeding the single-analyst by $0.05 per share. Revenue for the quarter ended April 30 increased 18.4% to $194.2 million, also topping the $182 million lone analyst's view.
Bloom Energy (BE) added 3.6% after the fuel-cells company and LSB Industries (LXU) Wednesday disclosed plans to install a 10-megawatt solid oxide electrolyzer at an LSB facility in Oklahoma to produce "green" hydrogen. Financial details were not immediately disclosed. LSB shares were 1.7% higher this afternoon.