This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

The Lights Go Out and PG&E Rushes to the Rescue

Stocks in this article: PGE XLU

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- How critical is the operational integrity of one power substation and what can happen if just one main transmission line is out of commission?

Residents of the Central Coast of California learned some of the answers Sunday, June 23, around 9:30 p.m. More than 145,000 residences from Solvang to Cambria were without power from an outage that utility company PG&E (PCG) at first said was caused by an interruption to a main transmission line.

Early on, the news services reported that Santa Barbara County emergency dispatchers were reporting on Twitter that power lines were down in Santa Maria, the largest city in the area affected. Later, PG&E tweeted that an equipment failure at a substation had caused the outage.

At that point, I was again reminded about the power and influence of Twitter. It's being used to communicate more and more about emergencies and critical events. Remember the partial power outage at the Super Bowl in New Orleans in January? Millions turned to Twitter for the answers, but I digress.

Before too many of the affected households knew what had happened, PG&E crews had restored power to most of those hit by the weekend outage. Others, who had already gone to bed before the failure, awoke to an eerie stillness and darkened neighborhoods.

By the time most were getting up Monday morning, hopefully their biggest inconvenience involved having to reset their digital clocks.

To add to the ironic timing, while Central Coast residents were without electricity, stock markets around the world were plunging in shocking fashion. Not only did China's benchmark Shanghai Index shed 5%, but every major equity market in Asia and Europe closed lower Monday.

Once PG&E's affected customers were able to turn on their TVs, they heard that the U.S. stock market was also in correction mode, but not nearly as bad as China's. The last time I checked PCG shares, they were up down less than 1% on a day that U.S. stock indices were off almost 2% at the day's lows.

The utilities sector as represented by the Utilities Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLU) was also down a smidge, to $36.31, at about 1 p.m. EST.

1 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 18,030.21 +6.04 0.03%
S&P 500 2,081.88 -0.29 -0.01%
NASDAQ 4,773.4720 +8.0480 0.17%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs