NEW YORK (AP) -- Energy companies rode rising oil prices higher Wednesday and Robert W. Baird & Co. initiated coverage of a handful of exploration and production outfits, citing the potential for growth.
The price of oil rose 1 percent as the U.S. Senate announced a deal that would avoid a potentially catastrophic default on its debt and reopen the government, which helped push almost all stocks higher, including those in the energy sector.
However, analyst Daniel Katzenberg points out that the SIG Oil Exploration and Production index has beat the S&P 500 index this year by 1,300 basis points.
"We remain positive on the sector's outlook over the long term," wrote Katzenberg. He said that new technology advancements continue to lead to more oil recovery.
Katzenberg started coverage of six companies, assigning "outperform" ratings Approach Resources, Carrizo Oil & Gas, and Rex American Resources. He gave SM Energy, Cimarex Energy, Comstock Resources "neutral" ratings.
He also maintained an "Outperform" rating on Cabot Oil & Gas, Forest Oil, Halcon Resources, Pioneer Natural Resources and Triangle Petroleum.
Katzenberg lowered his investment rating on Swift Energy to "Neutral" from "Outperform." He said that he wanted to see more results from oil wells before being "more positive on the stock."
Here's how the stocks were trading Wednesday afternoon:
—Approach Resources Inc. up $1.04, or 3.6 percent, to $29.93
—Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. up 96 cents, or 2.6 percent, to $37.33
—Carrizo Oil & Gas Inc. up $2.06, or 4.7 percent, to $45.57
—Cimarex Energy Co. up 3.58, or 3.5 percent, to $105.45
—Comstock Resources Inc. up 64 cents, or 3.6 percent, to $18.44
—Forest Oil Corp. up 9 cents, or 1.7 percent, to $5.47
—Halcon Resources Corp. up 22 cents, or 4.3 percent, to $5.32
—Pioneer Natural Resources Co. up $11.03, or 5.5 percent, to $210.75
—Rex American Resources Corp. up $1.38, or 4.7 percent, to $31
—SM Energy Co. up $1.87, or 2.2 percent, to $85.24
—Swift Energy Co. up 13 cents, or 1 percent, to $12.43
—Triangle Petroleum Corp. up 53 cents, or 5 percent, to $11.08