Energy stocks were ending narrowly higher this afternoon, with the NYSE Energy Sector Index climbing 0.3% and the SPDR Energy Select Sector ETF adding 0.2%. The Philadelphia Oil-Service Sector index, however, was declining 0.2% while the Dow Jones US Utilities Index was ahead 0.4%.
Front-month West Texas Intermediate crude oil was $0.33 higher at $70.29 per barrel, reversing midday weakness, while the global benchmark Brent crude contract was rising $0.25 to $72.47 per barrel. Henry Hub natural gas futures rose $0.02 to $3.15 per 1 million BTU.
In company news, Sempra Energy (SRE) was holding on to a small gain late in Thursday regular-hours trading, easing from a nearly 1% advance to an 18-month high of $140.74 a share that followed the electricity and natural gas utility saying it would be working with the federal government's National Renewable Energy Laboratory to use artificial intelligence to advance future net-zero systems.
Marathon Oil (MRO) climbed 1% after RBC Capital Markets raised its stock rating for the energy producer to outperform from sector perform and increased its price target by $4 to $18 apiece, citing the outlook for commodity prices.
To the downside, Cheniere Energy (LNG) was fractionally lower after the liquified natural gas company announced a new collaboration with EQT Corp. (EQT) and privately held Aethon Energy Management to better monitor, verify and report their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. EQT shares were 1.1% higher.
KLX Energy (KLXE) shares declined over 24% after it reported a Q1 net loss of $4.41 per share, improving on a $52.60 per share loss during the same quarter last year but still missing the single-analyst call expecting a $2.32 per share loss for the three months ended April 30. Revenue grew 9.4% year over year to $90.8 million, also lagging the $95.1 million analyst call.