Energy stocks narrowed a small portion of their earlier declines this afternoon, with the NYSE Energy Sector Index falling 2.2% in late trade while the SPDR Energy Select Sector ETF was down 2.4%.
Front-month West Texas Intermediate crude oil settled $1.31 lower at $39.29 per barrel in New York while the global benchmark Brent crude contract declined $1.71 to $40.72 per barrel. Henry Hub natural gas futures plunged 23 cents to $2.56 per 1 million BTU.
In company news, WPX Energy (WPX) dropped 3.9% after a Johnson Rice downgrade of the oil and natural gas producer to hold from buy previously. Johnson Rice set a $9 price target on WPX Energy shares.
Golar LNG (GLNG) fell about 1% after Tuesday saying Eduardo Antonello, the chief executive of its Hygo Energy Transition joint venture, has taken a leave of absence to address corruption accusations from before his time at the liquefied natural gas transportation and storage company. Court filings by federal prosecutors in Brazil late last week linked Seadrill, Antonello's former employer, to an alleged bribery scheme in that country.
Among gainers, Ardmore Shipping (ASC) climbed 6% after the petroleum and chemicals tanker company Tuesday authorized a new $30 million stock buyback plan to replace its previous share repurchase program.
U.S. Energy (USEG) rallied Tuesday, at one point racing over 330% to its highest share price since September 2016 at $18.57 a share, after announcing its purchase of operated and non-operated producing properties in New Mexico and Wyoming previously owned by bankrupt Fieldpoint Petroleum for $500,000 in cash, or about 80% under their proved reserve value.