Utilities continued to beat broader markets
Trade war issues continued to weigh on broader markets last week. The S&P 500 fell 0.8%, while the utility sector rose 1.4% for the week ending May 17.
So far this year, the Utilities Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLU) has risen 13% and marginally underperformed broader markets.
Treasury yields continued to trend lower and closed at 2.39% last week. Treasury yields and utility stocks generally trade inversely to each other.
Movers and shakers
NextEra Energy (NEE) is the biggest utility by market cap. NextEra Energy stock rose 3.8%, while Southern Company (SO) stock rose 0.8% last week. PPL (PPL) fell 4%, while Dominion Energy (D) rose 1.4% during the week.
NRG Energy (NRG) stock fell almost 5% last week. Weaker-than-expected first-quarter earnings have largely caused weakness in NRG Energy for the last few weeks. The company reported income from continuing operations of $94 million in the first quarter—a steep fall of ~60% compared to its income in the first quarter of 2018. NRG Energy has fallen more than 20% from its 52-week high in March.