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Tickers in this Article: FE, ETR, EBR, AWR, MWE, SO, ED
After the morning's trading, the Nasdaq is up 0.1%, the S&P 500 is trading down 0.3% and the Dow has fallen 0.3%. 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) (+1.2%) are:
CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
FirstEnergy (NYSE:FE)$18.59 billion-3.2%
Entergy (NYSE:ETR)$12.63 billion-3.2%
Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras SA (NYSE:EBR)$7.94 billion+3.1%
American States (NYSE:AWR)$822.8 million+2.9%
Markwest Energy (NYSE:MWE)$7.38 billion-2.4%
Southern (NYSE:SO)$40.04 billion-2%
Consolidated Edison (NYSE:ED)$17.34 billion-1.9%
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At $43.03, FirstEnergy (NYSE:FE) has slipped 3.2%. So far today, the company's volume is 602,044 shares, 0.2 times the average volume over the last three months.

Entergy (NYSE:ETR) is currently trading at a share price of $68.98, a 3.2% decline. So far today, the company's volume is 551,980 shares.

Rising 3.1%, Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras SA (NYSE:EBR) is currently trading at $5.32 per share. So far today, 263,073 shares have changed hands, which is likely to result in less activity than yesterday's volume of 2.1 million shares.

After rising 2.9%, American States (NYSE:AWR) is currently trading at a share price of $44.73. So far this morning, 16,833 shares have changed hands. This is 0.2 times its current daily average.

Markwest Energy (NYSE:MWE) has decreased to $52.70 per share, a 2.4% fall. With 110,428 shares changing hands so far today, the company's volume is 0.3 times its average over the past three months.

After a decline of 2%, Southern (NYSE:SO) has hit a share price of $44.85. The company's volume for the day so far is 1.1 million shares.

Falling 1.9%, Consolidated Edison (NYSE:ED) is currently at a share price of $58.10. The company's volume is currently 551,645 shares for the day, consistent with the volume from yesterday.

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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