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Tickers in this Article: NRG, MWE, WPZ, ATLS, SBS, EXC, AWK
So far today, the Nasdaq has risen 0.1%, the S&P 500 is trading down 0.1% and the Dow remains relatively unchanged. 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 biggest movers in the Utilities sector (XLU) (+0.6%) are:
CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
NRG (NYSE:NRG)$5.28 billion-3.1%
Markwest Energy (NYSE:MWE)$6.77 billion+2.3%
Williams Partners (NYSE:WPZ)$17.03 billion+1.9%
Atlas (NYSE:ATLS)$1.67 billion+1.5%
Companhia de Saneamento Basico (NYSE:SBS)$9.4 billion-1.5%
Exelon (NYSE:EXC)$26.16 billion-1.5%
American Water Works Co (NYSE:AWK)$6.67 billion-1.4%
Forex Broker Summary: UFXMarkets

At $22.41, NRG (NYSE:NRG) has slipped 3.1%. So far today, the company's volume is 3.7 million shares, in keeping with its current daily average.

Markwest Energy (NYSE:MWE) has risen 2.3% and is currently trading at $50.38 per share. The company is trading at a volume of 311,909 shares. This is a sign that there will be less trading activity than there was yesterday.

Williams Partners (NYSE:WPZ) is currently trading at $48.86 per share, a 1.9% increase. At 464,348 shares, the company's volume so far today is consistent with its average over the last three months.

Increasing 1.5%, Atlas (NYSE:ATLS) is trading at $32.97 per share. The company is currently trading a volume of 158,252 shares.

Companhia de Saneamento Basico (NYSE:SBS) is currently trading at a share price of $81.29, a 1.5% decline. At 70,114 shares, the company's volume so far today is 0.2 times the average daily volume.

After a decline of 1.5%, Exelon (NYSE:EXC) has hit a share price of $30.18. So far today, the company's volume is 1.7 million shares. At this rate, trading activity will likely be down from yesterday when 14.4 million shares changed hands.

American Water Works Co (NYSE:AWK) has fallen 1.4% and is currently trading at $37.24 per share. So far today, the company's volume is 344,992 shares, in keeping with the average volume over the past three months.

The Bottom Line On any given day, a particular stock may see positive or negative change in its share price. 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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