Morning Note: Nuclear Energy To Fall Out of Favor?

The Fast Money traders were focused on the energy sector Monday morning as markets continued to weigh the fallout from the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan. The traders were particularly concerned about investor reaction to nuclear energy companies after Monday blasts at Japan’s nuclear plants caused by tsunami damaged raised fears of full meltdowns.

“If the Gulf disaster caused a shutdown in permitting, I have to imagine that this is going to slow nuclear projects,” said Short Hills Capital Stephen Weiss. “I cannot imagine that there is going to be a rebuilding of other facilities there.”

Shares of Exelon, the largest nuclear plant operator in the U.S., were down more than 2% Monday as traders bet the company could face a backlash from government officials responding to constituent fears surrounding nuclear safety. Conversely, shares of natural gas plants were rising on bets that the fuel would be viewed as a safer alternative to nuclear energy in Japan and elsewhere.

Natural gas futures were up more than 2% by mid-day Monday. The rise helped reduce the losses in the fuel this year. Natural gas futures are down 7% in the past year.

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