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Tickers in this Article: EBR, SBS, EXLP, EE, WES, HNP, CPNO
The Nasdaq has remained steady, the S&P 500 is up 0.1% and the Dow has increased 0.2% so far today. 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.

These are the biggest movers in the Utilities sector (XLU) (+0.2%):
CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras SA (NYSE:EBR)$5.49 billion-11.1%
Companhia de Saneamento Basico (NYSE:SBS)$9.36 billion-3.8%
Exterran Partners (Nasdaq:EXLP)$910.8 million+1.6%
El Paso Electric (NYSE:EE)$1.22 billion+1.5%
Western Gas (NYSE:WES)$4.74 billion-1.3%
Huaneng Power International, Inc (NYSE:HNP)$11.57 billion+1.2%
Copano Energy (Nasdaq:CPNO)$2.45 billion-1.1%
Broker Summary: Charles Schwab Online Brokerage

After a precipitous drop of 11.1%, Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras SA (NYSE:EBR) is now trading at a share price of $3.17. So far today, 1.2 million shares have changed hands. This is 0.8 times its current three-month average.

Companhia de Saneamento Basico (NYSE:SBS) has decreased to $79.07 per share, a 3.8% fall. At 291,469 shares, the company's volume so far today is 0.7 times the average daily volume.

Exterran Partners (Nasdaq:EXLP) has increased to a share price of $21.89, a 1.6% rise. This morning, the company is trading a volume of 6,005 shares.

El Paso Electric (NYSE:EE) has moved up 1.5% and is currently trading at $30.77 per share. This morning, 60,646 shares have been traded, which is likely to result in less activity than yesterday's volume of 155,072 shares.

Western Gas (NYSE:WES) is currently trading at a share price of $48.79, a 1.3% decline. So far today, the company's volume is 46,514 shares. This is 0.2 times the average volume over the last three months.

After an increase of 1.2%, Huaneng Power International, Inc (NYSE:HNP) has reached a current price of $33.31. At 16,063 shares, the company's volume so far today is 0.2 times the average daily volume.

Falling 1.1%, Copano Energy (Nasdaq:CPNO) is currently at a share price of $30.63. So far today, the company's volume is 106,375 shares.

The Bottom Line The nature of the market is such that stocks will have good days and bad days. Paying close attention to the previous ratios will help you identify key times to adjust your strategy. Keep in mind that all these ratios should be compared against historical numbers and industry information in order to get a more complete picture.

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