Tortoise’s James Mick in The Wall Street Journal

Energy & Utilities Roundup: Market Talk

The latest Market Talks covering Energy and Utilities

The latest Market Talks covering Energy and Utilities. Published exclusively on Dow Jones Newswires at 4:20 ET, 12:20 ET and 16:50 ET.

1451 ET – US oil prices end a marginal 0.02%, or 1 cent, lower at $60.93/bbl after a weekly US inventory report that sent a mixture of bullish and bearish signals. The EIA reported US crude-oil inventories fell 1.1M bbls last week. That decline was bullish compared to a parallel report from trade group API on Tuesday that showed a 4.7M-bbl rise, but somewhat bearish compared to expectations in a WSJ survey for a 2M-bbl rise. Looking forward, Texas-based Enverus says oil could find support on “optimism that the US and China will sign a ‘phase one’ trade deal in January after agreeing to suspend planned tariff hikes that were scheduled to take effect on Sunday.”

1150 ET – Believe it or not, some corners of the energy world fared well in 2019, says Tortoise senior portfolio manager James Mick. “I know it didn’t feel like anything worked in energy, but in reality that’s not the case,” he says. “Utilities have really led the pack of subsectors, with a return approaching that of the S&P 500, up over 20% year-to-date. Refiners, who generate a lot of free cash flow, followed the utilities in positive territory.” But not all was rosy. “On the upstream side of the ledger, it’s been much less positive. Anything with natural gas exposure or higher leverage with less ability to get to free cash flow generation, has been hit, and hit hard.”

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