NEW YORK (AP) -- Utilities shares were top performers Friday, as the broader stock market endured one of its worst days of the year and investors shifted toward more stable and secure stocks.
The market fell sharply Friday after the release of a dismal report on U.S. hiring and employment. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped more than 200 points, while The Standard & Poor's 500 index and Nasdaq composite index both fell more than 2 percent.
Power companies are considered "defensive" stocks, because they don't tend to move much when the overall market fluctuates. They aren't very popular during times of fast economic growth, but tend to draw investors when times are bad.
Here's how some of the top performing utilities did Friday:
— Duke Energy Corp., up 31 cents to $22.28.
— Progress Energy Inc., up 43 cents to $55.25.
— Northeast Utilities System, up 30 cents to $36.31.
— The Southern Co., up 10 cents to $46.01.
— Entergy Corp., up 4 cents to $64.57.
— El Paso Electric Co., up 40 cents to $31.09.
— PPL Corp., up 8 cents to $27.46.