NRG Energy (NRG) - Get Report has been the biggest gainer as part of a broader rally among utilities and was showing no signs of slowing down Friday. Shares of the power company were sitting at $13.40 in the afternoon, up .87% on the day and 13.3% over the course of the last month.
A rally in natural gas prices - coupled with expectations of a lower corporate tax rate and an energy regulation rollback under President-Elect Donald Trump - have investors flocking back into electric utilities.
Exelon (EXC) - Get Report , one of the utility companies most heavily exposed to natural gas, has proven to be a big gainer as well. Shares of the company were trading at $36.06 Friday, up 1.58% for the day and 9.1% on the month.
For NRG and Exelon, the sector surge means that their recent blemishes move to the background, for now.
NRG's $1.7 billion all-stock purchase of electricity wholesaler GenOn Energy in 2012 has given the Houston company headaches. NRG said in a Dec. 13 Securities and Exchange Commission filing that it is in negotiations to restructure GenOn's note debt.
Meanwhile, Exelon needed what ultimately amounted to a state bailout at the end of November to keep two of its nuclear plants operating in Illinois.