Southern Company and 3 Utilities Stocks with Big Declines: SO, DUK, PGN, AWK, NST

Through most of the trading day on Wednesday, October 5, 2011, these stocks are bringing down the Utilities (NYSE:XLU) sector. Long time Wall St. Cheat Sheet readers know to watch stock prices because Technicals on the Stock Chart are Strong’ is one of the ‘T’s in our CHEAT SHEET investing framework.

Southern Company (NYSE:SO) is among the price losers in the sector as its stock price is $41.17, down 64 cents (-1.5%) from the previous close of $41.81. Southern Company, through its operating companies, provides electric service in four Southeastern states.

Stock Price Performance: From August 8, 2011, to October 4, 2011, the stock price had risen $3.48 (9.1%) from $38.33 to $41.81. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between April 25, 2011 and May 4, 2011 when shares rose for eight straight trading days, rising 3.9% (+$1.45). It saw one of its worst periods between May 19, 2011 and May 27, 2011 when shares fell for seven straight trading days, falling 2.5% (-$1.01).

Duke Energy Corporation (NYSE:DUK) stocks are trading at $19.38. This is 26 cents (-1.3%) below the previous close of $19.64, making the company one of the biggest price losers in the sector today. Duke Energy offers electric power and gas distribution operations and other energy services in North and South America.

Stock Price Performance: From August 8, 2011, to October 4, 2011, the stock price had risen $2.61 (15.3%) from $17.03 to $19.64. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between October 13, 2010 and October 21, 2010 when shares rose for seven straight trading days, rising 1.5% (+25 cents). It saw one of its worst periods between November 4, 2010 and November 17, 2010 when shares fell for 10 straight trading days, falling 3.8% (-67 cents).

Progress Energy, Inc. (NYSE:PGN) is one of the sector losers in price. Its shares are trading at $50.05, down 65 cents (-1.2%) from the previous close of $50.68. Progress Energy is an integrated electric utility that generates, transmits, and distributes power in portions of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Florida.

Stock Price Performance: From August 8, 2011, to October 4, 2011, the stock price had risen $7.47 (17.3%) from $43.21 to $50.68. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between March 17, 2011 and March 30, 2011 when shares rose for 10 straight trading days, rising 5.3% (+$2.27). It saw one of its worst periods between May 17, 2011 and May 26, 2011 when shares fell for eight straight trading days, falling 3.3% (-$1.61).

American Water Works Company, Inc. (NYSE:AWK) is among the price losers in the sector. Its shares are trading at $29.09, which is 36 cents (-1.2%) below the previous close of $29.45. American Water Works provides water and wastewater services to residential, commercial, and industrial customers in the United States and Canada.

Stock Price Performance: From August 8, 2011, to October 4, 2011, the stock price had risen $4.11 (16.2%) from $25.34 to $29.45. It saw one of its worst periods between May 31, 2011 and June 7, 2011 when shares fell for six straight trading days, falling 4.2% (-$1.25). The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between April 21, 2011 and May 3, 2011 when shares rose for eight straight trading days, rising 4.3% (+$1.22).

Shares of NSTAR (NYSE:NST) are trading at $41.30, down 31 cents (-0.7%) from the previous close of $41.60. Nstar is a holding company which is engaged, through its subsidiaries, in the energy delivery business. The company serves approximately 1.4 million customers in Massachusetts.

Stock Price Performance: From July 11, 2011, to October 4, 2011, the stock price had fallen $3.97 (-8.7%) from $45.57 to $41.60. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between April 18, 2011 and May 2, 2011 when shares rose for 10 straight trading days, rising 6.1% (+$2.66). It saw one of its worst periods between April 5, 2011 and April 14, 2011 when shares fell for eight straight trading days, falling 5.7% (-$2.65).