Shares of energy companies rose Wednesday as negotiations with Iran over the country's nuclear program continued past their deadline.
The six-nation talks have now lasted for three weeks, and it's not clear if the sides will be able to agree on the outlines of a deal. Three of the six foreign ministers involved left the negotiations, but Iran's foreign minister said most of the issues have been solved. The international community wants to limit Iran's ability to create a nuclear bomb, and Iran wants some of the sanctions levied against the company to be loosened. That could allow Iran's oil to reach the international market, which would increase oil supplies even further.
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Oil and gas stocks have been pummeled as oil prices fell in late 2014 and early 2015, and in March oil prices sank to their lowest prices in six years. Wednesday afternoon the price of U.S. crude advanced 5 percent to $49.98.
Shares of Newfield Exploration Co. jumped $1.74, or 5 percent, to $36.83 in afternoon trading. That made the stock the biggest gainer on the S&P 500.
Devon Energy Corp. stock added $1.86, or 3.1 percent, to $62.17.
Chevron Corp. shares picked up 33 cents to $105.31.
Pioneer Natural Resources Co. shares gained $4.95, or 3 percent, to $168.46.
Occidental Petroleum Corp. rose $1.40 to $74.40.
ConocoPhillips shares ticked up 71 cents to $62.97.
Denbury Resources Inc. advanced 28 cents, or 3.8 percent, to $7.57.
Hess Corp. stock was up $2.16, or 3.2 percent, at $70.03.
Exxon Mobil Corp. missed out on the gains, falling 4 cents to $84.96.
Apache Corp. edged up $1.17 to $61.50.
Marathon Oil Corp. shares added 78 cents, or 3 percent, to $26.89.
Shares of EOG Resources Inc. advanced 65 cents to $92.34.
EQT Corp. stock gained 70 cents to $83.57.
Noble Energy Inc. picked up 60 cents to $49.50.
Spectra Energy Corp. stock lost 13 cents to $36.04.
Murphy Oil Corp. stock rose $1.38, or 3 percent, to $47.98.
BP PLC shares were up 48 cents at $39.59.