NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Chevron's (CVX) acquisition of Atlas Energy (ATLS) last week started the latest round of M&A speculation in energy. It wasn't just chatter, but trading in natural gas stocks right after the Chevron deal was announced that showed investors expect more independent oil and gas producers to be taken out, as the integrated major oil companies continue bulk up on unconventional assets.
Five of the biggest targets of M&A speculation had big weeks in trading last week, with double-digit gains, but most of the bounce came in trading right after the Chevron deal was announced. By the end of the week, the speculative natural gas acquisition plays had traded off with the rest of the markets, and on Monday morning, the nat gas M&A speculations stocks opened in the red.
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