Gabelli Utility Trust
 (GUT)

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  • Tue, Feb. 9, 6:43 PM
    • The U.S. Supreme Court blocks Pres. Obama's planned new federal regulation that would cut emissions from power plants, halting at least for now the administration's sweeping effort to address combat climate change.
    • The justices heeded calls from utilities, coal miners and more than two dozen states to halt the EPA rule while court challenges go forward.
    • The delay will last at least until a D.C. appeals court rules on the plan, probably later this year after it hears arguments in June; meanwhile, the EPA will not be able to enforce a Sept. 6 deadline for states to either submit their emission reduction plans or request a two-year extension.
    • ETFs: XLE, XLU, VDE, ERX, OIH, UTG, IDU, VPU, ERY, DIG, DUG, BGR, IYE, GUT, BUI, FENY, PXJ, FIF, RYE, FUTY, RYU, UPW, FXN, FXU, DDG, PUI, SDP
    | Tue, Feb. 9, 6:43 PM | 50 Comments
  • Thu, Jan. 21, 7:27 PM
    • An attempt to delay enforcement of Pres. Obama's Clean Power Plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions until legal challenges are resolved is denied by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
    • The court order is an early victory for the EPA in what is likely to be a multiyear legal battle over a cornerstone of Pres. Obama's climate plan, which more than two dozen states and various utility companies, coal producers and business groups opposed, arguing they faced immediate burdens from complying with the regulation, which the administration issued in August.
    • The regulation requires a 32% cut in power-plant carbon emissions by 2030 based on emissions levels of 2005.
    • ETFs: XLE, XLU, VDE, ERX, OIH, UTG, IDU, VPU, ERY, DIG, DUG, BGR, IYE, GUT, BUI, FENY, FIF, PXJ, RYE, FUTY, RYU, UPW, FXN, FXU, DDG, SDP, FUGAX
    | Thu, Jan. 21, 7:27 PM | 26 Comments
  • Dec. 9, 2015, 3:13 PM
    • The bank's team is fairly aggressive in their expectation of rate hikes, seeing a 25 basis point move next week and another 100 basis points by the end of 2016.
    • The cycle, they say, most closely resembles that of 2004, and regulated utilities outperformed the broader market by 6% and 18% in the three and 12 months following the first hike that year.
    • As for this particular moment, Barclays says a flattening yield curve, increasing high-yield default rates, and a strong greenback impacting S&P earnings relative to utilities all bode well for the sector.
    • The team's favored picks: NextEra Energy (NYSE:NEE), American Electric Power (NYSE:AEP), Entergy (NYSE:ETR), Xcel Energy (NYSE:XEL), and PG&E (NYSE:PCG).
    • Utility ETFs: XLU, UTG, IDU, VPU, GUT, BUI, FUTY, RYU, UPW, FXU, SDP, FUGAX
    | Dec. 9, 2015, 3:13 PM | 29 Comments
  • Nov. 18, 2015, 5:59 PM
    • Declining utility stocks are a harbinger of rate increases, as the sector tends to underperform the broader market when rates are rising, and the S&P utilities index is trading near levels seen Sept. 16, when many investors and economists also expected the Fed to raise rates.
    • The average utility dividend yield has risen to 4.07% from 3.96% on Sept. 16, another sign that investors expect a rate increase; it had dropped to 3.68% on Oct. 22 after the Fed left its target rate at 0%-0.25%.
    • There’s no short-term risk to utility profit or cash flow from a modest rate increase in December, says Bloomberg credit analyst Jaimin Patel.
    • ETFs: XLU, UTG, IDU, VPU, GUT, BUI, FUTY, RYU, UPW, FXU, PUI, SDP, PSCU
    | Nov. 18, 2015, 5:59 PM | 9 Comments
  • Nov. 6, 2015, 12:54 PM
    | Nov. 6, 2015, 12:54 PM | 9 Comments
  • Oct. 23, 2015, 6:45 PM
    • Two dozen states file a lawsuit against Pres. Obama’s carbon emission regulations, the administration's signature climate change rule for power plants, challenging the EPA’s authority to enforce the rules issued in August.
    • The challengers are expected to focus on whether the EPA exceeded its powers by pushing utilities to shift to cleaner forms of energy instead of just focusing on pollution controls at fossil fuel-fired power plants.
    • Senior EPA officials say they are confident the agency's Clean Power Plan is legally sound, but the EPA is relying upon a seldom-used section of the Clean Air Act as its authority for the rules, which leaves an opening for legal scrutiny.
    • Most of the states involved in the legal challenge are reliant on fossil fuels, and all but two of the 24 are led by Republican governors.
    • The EPA rule seeks a 32% cut in the power sector’s carbon emissions by 2030 vs. 2005 levels.
    • ETFs: XLE, XLU, VDE, ERX, OIH, UTG, IDU, VPU, ERY, DIG, DUG, BGR, IYE, GUT, BUI, FENY, PXJ, FIF, RYE, FUTY, RYU, UPW, FXN, FXU, DDG, PUI, SDP, PSCU, TONS, FUGAX
    | Oct. 23, 2015, 6:45 PM | 40 Comments
  • Oct. 12, 2015, 10:56 AM
    • Electricity producers are largely planning to comply with, not contest, the Obama administration’s new rule limiting carbon emissions from power plants, believing the new regulations at least add certainty to their plans to move away from coal to generate electricity toward cheap natural gas and renewable energy, WSJ reports.
    • "Everybody is moving in this direction anyway,” Dominion (NYSE:D) CEO Tom Farrell says.
    • "Our coal assets are still running but they’re not making any money," says CEO Bob Flexon of Dynegy (NYSE:DYN), whose generating capacity is ~45% coal and 55% gas. “All the earnings are coming from our gas portfolio."
    • Certainly not every utility has agreed to go along with the EPA’s 15-year plan to cut carbon dioxide emissions from the power industry by 32% from 2005; among those who say they are still studying the rule and deciding on next steps are DUK, AEP and SO.
    • ETFs: XLU, KOL, UTG, IDU, VPU, GUT, BUI, FUTY, RYU, UPW, FXU, SDP
    | Oct. 12, 2015, 10:56 AM | 40 Comments
  • Sep. 17, 2015, 3:04 PM
    | Sep. 17, 2015, 3:04 PM | 1 Comment
  • Aug. 14, 2015, 2:48 AM
    • Fifteen U.S. states, led by coal-producing West Virginia, have launched an effort to halt President Obama's landmark climate policy while they prepare a legal challenge to have it overturned.
    • The states are first seeking a stay order, or injunction, because they say Obama administration deadlines mean the demand to cut emissions is effective immediately.
    • The Clean Power Plan calls for the U.S. power sector to slash carbon emissions 32% (from 2005 levels) in 2030.
    • ETFs: XLE, XLU, VDE, ERX, OIH, KOL, UTG, IDU, VPU, ERY, DIG, DUG, BGR, IYE, GUT, BUI, FENY, PXJ, FIF, RYE, FUTY, RYU, UPW, FXN, FXU, DDG, PUI, SDP, PSCU, FUGAX
    | Aug. 14, 2015, 2:48 AM | 30 Comments
  • Aug. 10, 2015, 7:15 PM
    • Macquarie analyst Andrew Weisel makes a bullish case for utilities such as Edison International (NYSE:EIX), American Water Works (NYSE:AWK) and Aqua America (NYSE:WTR), noting that regulated utilities have boosted dividends by a median of 6.4% over the past year despite ambitious capex plans, and valuations look attractive.
    • Weisel prefers growth over yield, emphasizing that utilities with a top-quartile long-term growth outlook consistently outperform those with top-quartile dividend yields; he forecasts the fastest growth for EIX, AWK and WTR, and the slowest for Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK), PPL Corp. (NYSE:PPL) and Teco Energy (NYSE:TE).
    • ETFs: XLU, UTG, IDU, VPU, GUT, BUI, FUTY, RYU, UPW, FXU, SDP
    | Aug. 10, 2015, 7:15 PM | 7 Comments
  • Aug. 6, 2015, 9:58 AM
    • The campaign to stop the Obama administration’s new emissions limits on power plants began taking shape yesterday, as 16 states asked the government to put the rules on hold while a Senate panel moved to block them.
    • West Virginia's attorney general led 15 other state AGs in a letter to the EPA requesting the agency temporarily suspend the rules while they challenge their legality in court; the administration believes its plan is legal and will not put it on hold, but by submitting the formal request, the states are laying the groundwork to ask the courts to suspend the emissions limits.
    • Although the most serious threat to the new power plant rules is in the courts, lawmakers in Congress are also pursuing legislative means to stop them, where a bill blocking the rules passed in the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.
    • ETFs: XLE, XLU, VDE, ERX, OIH, UTG, IDU, VPU, ERY, DIG, DUG, BGR, IYE, GUT, BUI, FENY, FIF, PXJ, RYE, FUTY, RYU, UPW, FXN, FXU, DDG, SDP
    | Aug. 6, 2015, 9:58 AM | 9 Comments
  • Aug. 4, 2015, 8:05 PM
    • The utilities (NYSEARCA:XLU) sector was Wall Street's biggest decliner today as natural gas was the surprise loser from Pres. Obama’s climate plan, with the White House apparently abandoning its previous enthusiasm for gas as a cleaner alternative to coal.
    • Gas producers were "confused and disappointed" that the administration eliminated an earlier projection that natural gas would contribute much more electricity, instead increasing the role of renewables; also perplexed were utility companies, who have led a power transformation and spent hundreds of millions of dollars to switch generating plants from coal to shale gas.
    • American Electric Power (NYSE:AEP) CEO Nicholas Akins says the U.S. does not have the luxury of being able to ditch nat gas, saying the only way to power big industrial processes is through large-scale, 24-hour generation close to consumers - “solar doesn’t provide that and wind doesn’t provide that."
    • The final plan is considered a boon for companies such as SolarCity (NASDAQ:SCTY) and NextEra Energy (NYSE:NEE) that have invested billions in renewable generation, but Sanford Bernstein calls NRG Energy (NYSE:NRG) the biggest potential loser from the plan, saying profits in some scenarios could tumble by half because most of its electricity comes from coal plants that are in EPA’s cross-hairs.
    • ETFs: XLE, XLU, VDE, ERX, OIH, KOL, UTG, IDU, VPU, ERY, FCG, DIG, GASL, DUG, BGR, IYE, GUT, BUI, FENY, FIF, PXJ, RYE, FUTY, RYU, UPW, FXN, FXU, DDG, SDP
    | Aug. 4, 2015, 8:05 PM | 84 Comments
  • Aug. 3, 2015, 6:35 PM
    • Coal miners and related companies tumbled following today's announcement of the Obama administration's final Clean Power Plan, which aims to shift the U.S. energy mix towards renewable energy such as wind and solar while significantly limiting power plant carbon dioxide emissions.
    • Pres. Obama called the plan the “single most important step America has taken in the fight against global climate change," even though U.S. power plant emissions account for just 5% of global carbon emissions.
    • The final EPA rule requires a 32% cut in power plant carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 from 2005 levels, an increase from the 30% target proposed last year.
    • Industry officials are concerned about the plan’s cost, and Republicans and states hardest hit by the plan say they will fight it; more than a dozen states and the coal industry plan to sue the EPA, and several states say they will refuse to comply.
    • ETFs: XLE, XLU, VDE, ERX, OIH, KOL, UTG, IDU, VPU, ERY, DIG, DUG, BGR, IYE, GUT, BUI, FENY, PXJ, FIF, RYE, FUTY, RYU, UPW, FXN, FXU, DDG, PUI, SDP, PSCU, FUGAX
    | Aug. 3, 2015, 6:35 PM | 58 Comments
  • Jul. 7, 2015, 11:46 AM
    • It's not just Greece, where that country's government officials arrived in Brussels today with no new proposal to save its EMU membership (one is now promised for tomorrow), but China's stock market bubble is in the midst of a spectacular collapse. This even as Beijing's efforts to prop up share prices make the Federal Reserve look like the Ayn Rand Institute.
    • The 10-year U.S. Treasury yield is lower by nine basis points to 2.20%, the U.K. 10-year yield is down 16 bps to 1.86%, and the German 10-year yield is down 12 bps to 0.65%. Copper is leading across the board declines in commodity prices.
    • European stocks closed down another 2.1%, and the S&P 500 is down 1%. The Utilities SPDR (NYSEARCA:XLU), however, is up 1.6%, and the iShares Real Estate ETF (NYSEARCA:IYR) is up 0.7%. A mortgage REIT ETF (NYSEARCA:REM) is up 0.7%.
    • Realty Income (O +0.6%), Omega Healthcare (OHI +1.3%), HCP (HCP +1.7%), Equity Residential (EQR +1.4%), Simon Property (SPG +1.2%), Kimco (KIM +1.3%), Public Storage (PSA +1.5%), Boston Properties (BXP +1.6%), Strategic Hotels (BEE +1.2%), First Industrial Realty (FR +1.1%).
    • ETFs: IYR, VNQ, DRN, URE, RQI, SCHH, ICF, SRS, RWR, RNP, JRS, KBWY, RFI, NRO, DRV, RIT, REK, RIF, FRI, FTY, PSR, DRA, FREL, WREI, IARAX
    • ETFs: XLU, UTG, IDU, VPU, GUT, BUI, FUTY, RYU, UPW, FXU, PUI, SDP, PSCU, FUGAX
    | Jul. 7, 2015, 11:46 AM | 16 Comments
  • Jun. 29, 2015, 7:37 PM
    • For some big U.S. power companies, the Supreme Court's rejection of EPA rules reducing air pollutants from coal-fired plants has arrived too late for them to turn away from a natural gas-fueled future.
    • FirstEnergy (NYSE:FE) already has deactivated 5,429 MW of coal-fired generation and says it has no intention of placing any of it back on line, saying "deactivating power plants is an expensive process, and once they are deactivated it is difficult to restart them."
    • Dynegy (NYSE:DYN) says it already spent $2B to comply with MATS and other air regulations, and NRG Energy (NYSE:NRG) says it already added the necessary equipment to comply with state and federal laws.
    • Officials at other big power companies including American Electric Power (NYSE:AEP) and Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK) also say they will not change their ongoing MATS compliance activities.
    • ETFs: XLU, UTG, IDU, VPU, GUT, BUI, FUTY, RYU, UPW, FXU, SDP
    | Jun. 29, 2015, 7:37 PM | 35 Comments
  • Jun. 25, 2015, 6:15 PM
    • Utilities stocks as a group have deteriorated nearly 12% YTD and 6% this month alone, but the carnage may not be over, WSJ's Spencer Jakab warns.
    • Jakab notes that utilities stocks’ P/E ratio relative to the S&P 500 has dropped to ~91% today from 107% at the start of the year, but the figure remains well above the 73% average seen during the 2000-06 period.
    • As interest rates have risen this year - and an eye toward what the Fed may do later this year - utilities stocks have been crushed, and the sector’s P/E has dropped back into the 15s; at one point last year, the P/E for utilities was higher than that of the S&P 500 as well as the technology sector.
    • ETFs: XLU, UTG, IDU, VPU, GUT, BUI, FUTY, RYU, UPW, FXU, PUI, SDP, PSCU
    | Jun. 25, 2015, 6:15 PM | 2 Comments
Company Description
The Funds primary investment objective is to achieve long-term growth of capital and income. The Fund will invest in ordinary stock and other securities of foreign and domestic companies involved to a substantial extent in providing products, services or e