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Valero Energy Corporation ( VLO) pushed the Energy industry higher today making it today's featured energy winner. The industry as a whole was unchanged today. By the end of trading, Valero Energy Corporation rose $0.94 (1.7%) to $55.79 on light volume. Throughout the day, 5,328,684 shares of Valero Energy Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 8,629,300 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $54.97-$55.98 after having opened the day at $54.98 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $54.85. Other companies within the Energy industry that increased today were: Anadarko Petroleum ( APC), up 14.5%, Lucas Energy ( LEI), up 14.1%, Magellan Petroleum Corporation ( MPET), up 10.4% and MagneGas Corporation ( MNGA), up 4.8%.

Valero Energy Corporation operates as an independent petroleum refining and marketing company in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom, and Ireland. It operates through two segments, Refining and Ethanol. Valero Energy Corporation has a market cap of $29.6 billion and is part of the basic materials sector. Shares are up 8.8% 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 increase in stock price during the past year, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, attractive valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

On the negative front, KiOR ( KIOR), down 11.6%, Recon Technology ( RCON), down 8.3%, New Concept Energy ( GBR), down 5.8% and Rocket Fuel ( FUEL), down 5.5% , were all laggards within the energy industry with Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras ( PBR) being today's energy industry laggard.

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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