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Tickers in this Article: MPC, SFY, WLT, CLMT, CNX, ACMP, SPH
The market is having a bad day so far. The Nasdaq has declined 1%; the S&P 500 is trading down 0.5%; and the Dow has declined 0.3%. 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) is currently ahead of the overall market, down only 0.1%, and its biggest movers are currently:
CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
Marathon (NYSE:MPC)$18.56 billion+6.3%
Swift Energy (NYSE:SFY)$820.8 million-4.9%
Walter Energy (NYSE:WLT)$2.01 billion+4.3%
Calumet Specialty Products Partners (Nasdaq:CLMT)$1.94 billion-3.6%
Consol (NYSE:CNX)$7.14 billion+2.2%
Chesapeake Midstream Partners (NYSE:ACMP)$5.06 billion+2%
Suburban Propane Partners (NYSE:SPH)$2.22 billion-1.9%
Forex Broker Summary: Forex Capital Markets (FXCM)

Marathon (NYSE:MPC) is at $58.32 per share after an increase of 6.3%. So far today, 5.3 million shares have changed hands. In technical analysis, trading volume is used to determine the strength of a market indicator.

Swift Energy (NYSE:SFY) is currently trading at a share price of $18.21, a 4.9% decline. The company's volume is currently 306,064 shares for the day, in keeping with the average volume over the past three months. Volume is also used as a secondary indicator to help confirm what the price movement is suggesting.

Walter Energy (NYSE:WLT) has moved up 4.3% and is currently trading at $33.54 per share. So far today, 1.5 million shares of the company's stock have changed hands. As a stock moves up or down, it is important to pay attention to the trading volume. This indicates the level of interest: the higher the volume, the more the interest.

After a decline of 3.6%, Calumet Specialty Products Partners (Nasdaq:CLMT) has hit a share price of $32.47. At 401,356 shares, the company's volume so far today is one times its current daily average. The trading volume for a stock indicates the level of investor interest.

Consol (NYSE:CNX) is currently trading at $32.04 per share, a 2.2% increase. This morning, the company is trading a volume of 920,402 shares. Volume indicates the level of interest that investors have in a company at its current price.

After an increase of 2%, Chesapeake Midstream Partners (NYSE:ACMP) has reached a current price of $34.84. At 97,255 shares, the company's volume so far today is 0.3 times its average over the past three months. Volume is an important indicator because it indicates how significant a price shift is.

Suburban Propane Partners (NYSE:SPH) is down 1.9% to reach $43.72 per share. So far today, the company's volume is 169,305 shares. This is a sign that there will be less trading activity than there was yesterday. Price change alone is not enough to know how a stock is doing. Volume is an important secondary indicator used to confirm trends suggested by price movement.

The Bottom Line The nature of the market is such that stocks will have good days and bad days. 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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