Energy stocks gave credence to the adage that a high tide raisesall boats as they followed Wednesday’s market rally, generallyrising one to two points. While energy shareholders are surelyenvious of the leap made by the market stars’ – technology stocks -the share price boost was welcome good news in a marketplaceplagued by depressed commodity prices.

PaineWebber gas group analyst James A. Yannello said he sawenergy shares essentially following the market. Relatively biggainers were Enron, Coastal, CNG, and Columbia Energy Group.

“I think Enron is recovering at a pace above the market,”Yannello said. He pointed to dissipation of what he considersover-hyped fears regarding the company’s international exposure. InAugust, a research report suggested Enron might suffer from a highlevel of international exposure (See Daily GPI Aug. 31). Similarly,fears that E&P acquisitions by Consolidated Natural Gas (CNG)would be dilutive also have waned among investors. Coastal Corp.and Columbia Energy Group are companies with very solidfundamentals, he said.

For these companies and others, Wednesday was a small paybackfor Monday, Aug. 31, when energy shares plummeted with the rest ofthe market. There was no single explanation for the declines backthen. Hit hard were Coastal, CNG, Dynegy, El Paso Energy andWilliams. Some were pointing to the companies’ exposure in theinternational arena or to declining oil, natural gas and liquidsprices for the trend (See Daily GPI Sept. 1).

On Wednesday, Enron was up 3 1/16 to 53 3/4, a gain of more than6%. Columbia Energy Group was up 2 1/8 to 59 15/16, a gain of 3.68%. Last week CIBC Oppenheimer initiated coverage of Columbiawith a “hold” rating. Coastal rose 1 1/4 to 32 3/16, a more than 4%rise. Last week, FERC approved plans for ANR Pipeline’s Wisconsinexpansion. Also Tuesday, Coastal Chairman David Arledge predicteddouble-digit earnings growth in coming years based on strong growthin gas production. CNG was up 1 to 52 3/8, a nearly 2% rise.Yesterday, Prudential upgraded the company from “hold” toaccumulate. That followed a Sept. 18 downgrade of CNG by Standard& Poor’s to negative from stable. Dynegy was up 9/16 to 1311/16, a 4.28% rise. Last week the company announced plans tomanage the gas supplies of Rochester Gas & Electric. El PasoEnergy was up 2 1/16 to 32 15/16, a 6.68% rise. El Paso’s TennesseeGas Pipeline said last week it and Mississippi Canyon Gas Pipelinewould build a 400 MMcf/d interconnect in Venice, LA. Williams wasup 1 3/4 to 29 1/8, a rise of 6.39%. Williams is a partner in theAlliance Pipeline, which won FERC approval last week.

Wednesday the Dow Jones industrial average rose more than 257points, a 3.26% increase, to close at 8,154. The bounce wasattributed to hopes the Federal Reserve would cut interest rateswhen it meets Sept. 29.

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