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Valero Energy Corporation ( VLO) pushed the Energy industry lower today making it today's featured Energy laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.2%. By the end of trading, Valero Energy Corporation fell $2.21 (-4.4%) to $48.51 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 15,311,993 shares of Valero Energy Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 8,761,700 shares. The stock ranged in price between $48.12-$50.73 after having opened the day at $50.59 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $50.72. Other companies within the Energy industry that declined today were: Swift Energy Company ( SFY), down 16.1%, CGG ( CGG), down 7.3%, Houston American Energy Corporation ( HUSA), down 7.0% and Laredo Petroleum ( LPI), down 6.7%.

Valero Energy Corporation operates as an independent petroleum refining and marketing company. The company operates through three segments: Refining, Ethanol, and Retail. Valero Energy Corporation has a market cap of $28.1 billion and is part of the basic materials sector. Shares are up 0.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate Valero Energy Corporation a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Valero Energy Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, attractive valuation levels and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

On the positive front, KiOR ( KIOR), up 30.4%, Pedevco ( PED), up 8.8%, Whiting Petroleum Corporation ( WLL), up 8.8% and Sonde Resources ( SOQ), up 7.8% , were all gainers within the energy industry with Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras ( PBR) being today's featured energy industry leader.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the energy industry could consider Energy Select Sector SPDR ( XLE) while those bearish on the energy industry could consider Proshares Short Oil & Gas ( DDG).

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