Currently, the Nasdaq is up 0.6%, the S&P 500 has moved up 0.2% and the Dow has moved little. 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) has climbed 0.1% overall, and these are the biggest movers in the sector so far:

Company Market Cap Percentage Change
Alon USA Energy (NYSE:ALJ) $927.7 million +9.9%
Comstock Resources (NYSE:CRK) $722.9 million -3.5%
Lufkin Industries (Nasdaq:LUFK) $1.86 billion +2.1%
HollyFrontier (NYSE:HFC) $9.09 billion +2%
Ferrellgas Partners (NYSE:FGP) $1.33 billion -1.8%
Atlas Resource Partners (NYSE:ARP) $1.04 billion -1.7%
Ecopetrol S.A (NYSE:EC) $1.88 billion -1.4%

Broker Summary: Charles Schwab Online Brokerage

Increasing 9.9%, Alon USA Energy (NYSE:ALJ) is trading at $16.66 per share. So far today, 568,586 shares have changed hands, whereas yesterday, volume was only 225,826 shares.

After a decline of 3.5%, Comstock Resources (NYSE:CRK) has hit a share price of $14.47. So far today, the company's volume is 309,293 shares. This is in keeping with its current three-month average.

Rising 2.1%, Lufkin Industries (Nasdaq:LUFK) is currently trading at $56.56 per share. The company's volume for the day so far is 74,973 shares.

HollyFrontier (NYSE:HFC) is at $45.64 per share after an increase of 2%. At 537,286 shares, the company's volume so far today is 0.3 times the average daily volume.

Ferrellgas Partners (NYSE:FGP) is trading at $16.57 per share, down 1.8%. The company's volume for the day so far is 226,696 shares.

Atlas Resource Partners (NYSE:ARP) has fallen 1.7% and is currently trading at $21.49 per share. The company's volume for the day so far is 56,729 shares, 0.4 times its average over the past three months.

Currently trading at $59.54 per share, Ecopetrol S.A (NYSE:EC) has fallen 1.4%. So far today, 83,478 shares have changed hands.

The Bottom Line No matter the economic climate, Wall Street will always have stocks that make major moves each week. It is important to weigh current activity against historical performance when making any investment decisions. 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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