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Tickers in this Article: CNX, SM, WLT, ROSE, RRC, XEC, CEO
The Nasdaq has moved up 0.3%, the S&P 500 has risen 0.6% and the Dow has increased 0.3% on a good day for the market so far. The energy sector is the category of stocks that relate to producing or supplying energy. This sector includes companies involved in the exploration and development of oil or gas reserves, oil and gas drilling, or integrated power firms. Performance in the sector is largely driven by the supply and demand for worldwide energy. Energy producers will do very well during times of high oil and gas prices, but will earn less when the value of energy drops. Furthermore, this sector is sensitive to political events, which historically have driven changes in the price of oil.

The Energy sector (XLE) is up 1.4%, outperforming the market overall. The biggest movers in the sector so far are:
CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
Consol (NYSE:CNX)$7.48 billion+6.5%
SM (NYSE:SM)$3.46 billion+5.8%
Walter Energy (NYSE:WLT)$2.2 billion+5.7%
Rosetta Resources (Nasdaq:ROSE)$2.37 billion+4.2%
Range (NYSE:RRC)$11.42 billion+4.1%
Cimarex (NYSE:XEC)$5.11 billion+3.8%
CNOOC Limited (NYSE:CEO)$88.86 billion+3.4%
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Consol (NYSE:CNX) has risen 6.5% to hit a current price of $35 per share. So far today, the company's volume is 2.4 million shares, 0.7 times its current daily average. As a stock moves up or down, it is important to pay attention to the trading volume. This indicates the level of interest: the higher the volume, the more the interest.

Rising 5.8%, SM (NYSE:SM) is currently trading at $56.25 per share. So far today, the company's volume is 467,965 shares. If a stock price moves on high volume, this means that the change is a significant one.

After an increase of 5.7%, Walter Energy (NYSE:WLT) has reached a current price of $37.14. At 2.4 million shares, the company's volume so far today is 0.8 times its average over the past three months. Volume is an important indicator in technical analysis as it is used to measure the worth of a market move. If the markets have made a strong price move either up or down the perceived strength of that move depends on the volume for that period. The higher the volume during that price move the more significant the move.

After an increase of 4.2%, Rosetta Resources (Nasdaq:ROSE) has reached a current price of $46.65. The company is trading at a volume of 132,192 shares. This is a sign that there will be less trading activity than there was yesterday. Price change alone is not enough to know how a stock is doing. Volume is an important secondary indicator used to confirm trends suggested by price movement.

Increasing 4.1%, Range (NYSE:RRC) is trading at $73.12 per share. The company's volume is currently 819,526 shares for the day, 0.6 times the average daily volume. The trading volume for a stock indicates the level of investor interest.

Cimarex (NYSE:XEC) is up 3.8% to reach a current price of $61.68 per share. The company's volume for the day so far is 333,309 shares. If a stock price makes a big move up or down, volume lets us know the significance of that move.

CNOOC Limited (NYSE:CEO) is currently trading at $205.82 per share, a 3.4% increase. The company's volume is currently 50,433 shares for the day, 0.6 times the current three-month average. High volume indicates a lot of investor interest while low volume indicates the opposite.

The Bottom Line No matter the economic climate, Wall Street will always have stocks that make major moves each week. Daily stock performance should be weighed against historical performance and put in context of the market overall. Tools like valuation ratios and profit margins, however, are only as useful as the context you put them in; remember to take historical data and competitor performance into account.

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