Utilities Fall as 10-Year Yield Rises -- Utilities Roundup

02/20/18 05:15 PM EST

Shares of power-plant operators fell as the yield on the 10-year Treasury note hit a new four-year high above 2.9%.

Utilities have been under pressure for months as investors retreated from a sector seen as rate-sensitive. Still, fears that the recent bout of volatility will put an end to the second-longest bull market on record have revived interest in the sector, which is perceived as less cyclical than most, according to one brokerage.

"The market is struggling to find its next leader, at least at the sector level," said strategists at brokerage Morgan Stanley in a research note. "This is normal after a market shock like we have experienced, particularly if we are heading toward the end of a cycle." The Morgan Stanley strategists say the recent outperformance of defensive stocks in general, and utility stocks in particular, is likely to continue.

First Energy shares ticked down after the company said it was changing its status to a fully regulated utility and rejiggered its board.


Rob Curran, rob.curran@dowjones.com


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

February 20, 2018 17:15 ET (22:15 GMT)

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