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Energy stocks are collectively up nearly 3%, as measured by the Energy Select SPDR (XLE 75.72, +1.97). Energy issues make up this session's top performing sector. In contrast, utilities stocks continue to underperform as the only major sector that failed to stage a gain -- the Utilities SPDR (XLU 30.85, -0.14) is down about 0.4%.
Among energy plays, oil and gas exploration plays like Schlumberger (SLB 86.68, +3.58) and National Oilwell Varco (NOV 77.51, +3.11) are the top performers. As for utilities, energy generation giant Exelon (EXC 39.44, -0.51) continues to trade lower; it set a new six-month low this morning.
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