Shares of Southwestern Energy (SWN) jumped more than six percent in midday trading Tuesday along with industry peer Williams Companies (WBS) , amid a rally in natural gas prices. Southwestern Energy has managed to turn 2016 into a major turnaround year. Shares of the Texas-based company are up 96 percent this year. In February, Standard & Poors issued a downgrade of its nearly $5 billion debt to sub-investment grade. Southwestern Energy shareholders have also benefited from a sharp rise in crude oil prices, which continued their move higher to just under $50 a barrel, based on U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate. Other natural gas companies, including Chesapeake Energy (CHK) and Diamond Offshore (DO) were also higher Tuesday by a more than four percent gain in July futures contracts, which ticked up on forecasts of warmer weather to $2.28 a British Thermal Unit, hitting a four-month high.
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