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Tickers in this Article: CPNO, ORA, HNP, XTEX, ATLS, CMLP, NWN
The morning has been bad for the market. The Nasdaq is down 1.6%; the S&P 500 has declined 1%; and the Dow has decreased 1.1%. 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 currently ahead of the overall market, down only 0.1%, and its biggest movers are currently:
CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
Copano Energy (Nasdaq:CPNO)$2.42 billion-4.1%
Ormat Technologies (NYSE:ORA)$893.2 million-3.8%
Huaneng Power International, Inc (NYSE:HNP)$10.33 billion+2%
Crosstex Energy (Nasdaq:XTEX)$969 million+2%
Atlas (NYSE:ATLS)$1.82 billion-1.8%
Crestwood Midstream (NYSE:CMLP)$1.17 billion-1.6%
Northwest Natural (NYSE:NWN)$1.33 billion-1.3%
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Copano Energy (Nasdaq:CPNO) is down 4.1% to reach $32.01 per share. So far today, the company's volume is 4.5 million shares.

At $18.91, Ormat Technologies (NYSE:ORA) has slipped 3.8%. So far today, the company's volume is 48,667 shares, 1.2 times the current daily average.

Rising 2%, Huaneng Power International, Inc (NYSE:HNP) is currently trading at $30 per share. So far today, 24,662 shares of the company's stock have changed hands. This is about the same trading activity as there was yesterday.

Crosstex Energy (Nasdaq:XTEX) has moved up 2% and is currently trading at $16.19 per share. The company's volume for the day so far is 52,764 shares, 0.2 times the current three-month average.

Atlas (NYSE:ATLS) is currently trading at a share price of $34.90, a 1.8% decline. So far today, 127,544 shares have changed hands.

Falling 1.6%, Crestwood Midstream (NYSE:CMLP) is currently at a share price of $23.98. At 32,763 shares, the company's volume so far today is in line with the current daily average.

Currently trading at $48.91 per share, Northwest Natural (NYSE:NWN) has fallen 1.3%. So far today, the company's volume is 63,557 shares. This is about the same trading activity as there was yesterday.

The Bottom Line No matter the economic climate, Wall Street will always have stocks that make major moves each week. 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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