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Tickers in this Article: CLNE, MWE, NKA, PNG, WPZ, D, EXC
It's been a good morning for the market. The Nasdaq has risen 0.2%; the S&P 500 has increased 0.6%; and the Dow is trading up 0.5%. The utilities sector is a category of stocks for utilities such as gas and power. It contains companies such as electric, gas and water firms and integrated providers. Because utilities require significant infrastructure, these firms often carry large amounts of debt. With a high debt load, utilities companies become sensitive to changes in the interest rate. As interest rates rise or drop, the debt payments will increase or decrease. The utilities sector performs best when interest rates are falling or remain low.

The Utilities sector (XLU) is up 1%, outperforming the market overall. The biggest movers in the sector so far are:
CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
Clean Energy (Nasdaq:CLNE)$961.4 million+9.2%
Markwest Energy (NYSE:MWE)$6.83 billion-4.6%
Niska Gas Storage (NYSE:NKA)$687.8 million-3.1%
PAA Natural Gas Storage (NYSE:PNG)$1.59 billion-2.6%
Williams Partners (NYSE:WPZ)$17.62 billion-2.3%
Dominion (NYSE:D)$28.27 billion+1.8%
Exelon (NYSE:EXC)$26.29 billion-1.8%
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Clean Energy (Nasdaq:CLNE) has increased to a share price of $12.08, a 9.2% rise. So far today, 2.3 million shares have changed hands. This is 1.5 times the current three-month average.

At $47.40, Markwest Energy (NYSE:MWE) has slipped 4.6%. The company's volume is currently 1.2 million shares for the day, 2.4 times the average daily volume.

Niska Gas Storage (NYSE:NKA) is currently trading at a share price of $9.76, a 3.1% decline. This morning, the company is trading a volume of 156,876 shares.

Falling 2.6%, PAA Natural Gas Storage (NYSE:PNG) is currently at a share price of $18.32. So far today, 55,956 shares have changed hands,.

Williams Partners (NYSE:WPZ) is down 2.3% to reach $48.50 per share. This morning, the company is trading a volume of 656,855 shares. This is 1.2 times its average volume over the past three months.

Dominion (NYSE:D) is at $50.10 per share after an increase of 1.8%. At one million shares, the company's volume so far today is consistent with its current daily average.

Slipping 1.8%, Exelon (NYSE:EXC) is currently trading at $30.21 per share. The company is currently trading a volume of 3.3 million shares.

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. However, these fundamental metrics must be analyzed with historic data, industry information in addition to firm specific financial statements.

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