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Tickers in this Article: EBR, NRG, HNP, NFG, SBS, CPL, KMI
The market is having a bad day so far: the Nasdaq is down 0.2%; the S&P 500 has fallen 0.4%; and the Dow has decreased 0.2%. 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 down 0.7%, underperforming the market overall. The current biggest movers in the sector are:
CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras SA (NYSE:EBR)$8.89 billion+2.8%
NRG (NYSE:NRG)$5.4 billion-2.5%
Huaneng Power International, Inc (NYSE:HNP)$10.35 billion-2.2%
National Fuel (NYSE:NFG)$4.36 billion-2%
Companhia de Saneamento Basico (NYSE:SBS)$9.64 billion+1.9%
CPFL Energia S.A (NYSE:CPL)$10.46 billion+1.7%
Kinder Morgan (NYSE:KMI)$19.9 billion-1.5%
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Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras SA (NYSE:EBR) has risen 2.8% and is currently trading at $5.94 per share. So far today, the company's volume is 476,006 shares, consistent with its current three-month average.

At $23.06, NRG (NYSE:NRG) has slipped 2.5%. So far today, 1.4 million shares have changed hands.

Huaneng Power International, Inc (NYSE:HNP) has decreased to $28.82 per share, a 2.2% fall. So far today, the company's volume is 8,302 shares, 0.1 times the average daily volume.

National Fuel (NYSE:NFG) is trading at $51.27 per share, down 2%. The company is trading at a volume of 113,643 shares. At this rate, trading activity will likely be down from yesterday when 454,002 shares changed hands.

Companhia de Saneamento Basico (NYSE:SBS) has increased to a share price of $86.17, a 1.9% rise. At 91,285 shares, the company's volume so far today is 0.2 times its average over the past three months.

CPFL Energia S.A (NYSE:CPL) is up 1.7% to reach a current price of $22.10 per share. The company's volume for the day so far is 113,754 shares.

Falling 1.5%, Kinder Morgan (NYSE:KMI) is currently at a share price of $34.56. So far today, the company's volume is 16.9 million shares, 4.7 times the average daily volume.

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. 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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