Utilities at an all-time high
Broader markets moved higher on the China-US trade front and rose 2.5% last week. Utilities rose more than 1% for the week ending March 15. Utility stocks have been strong lately. Many of the stocks are trading at their respective all-time high. So far this year, broader utilities have risen 10%, which leveled the S&P 500.
The Utilities Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLU) declared a quarterly dividend of $0.4302 per unit on March 15. The dividend is payable on March 20 to shareholders on record as of March 18.
Leaders and laggards
Renewables giant NextEra Energy (NEE) stock rose 1.4%, while regulated utility Duke Energy (DUK) rose 0.5% last week. Last week, American Electric Power (AEP) said that it intends to sell ~14 million equity units—each issued in a stated amount of $50.0. American Electric Power is expected to generate nearly $682 million from its planned equity sale, which will be used to fund its capital expenditure plan. American Electric Power stock rose 2.3% last week.
Dominion Energy (D), the third-biggest utility by market cap, rose 1.7% during the week. Dominion Energy said in a statement on March 15 that it will keep operating its Millstone nuclear power plant in Connecticut. The decision came after the state agreed on a ten-year deal to buy power from the company. Utilities can’t viably run nuclear power plants in the country due to lower power prices driven by renewables and natural gas.
AES (AES) stock was the top gainer among utilities last week. The stock rose 3.5%. So far, the stock has risen ~27% in 2019.