Which Energy Commodity Is Leading in 2017?
Natural gas leading to downside
Year-to-date in 2017, natural gas (UNG) prices are leading the decline in energy commodities. Natural gas prices decreased from their 2016 close of $3.72 per MMBtu (million British thermal units) on December 30, 2016, to $3.06 per MMBtu on December 1, 2017—a significant decrease of almost 18.0% so far.
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Crude oil leading to upside
In 1H17, crude oil prices were on a declining trend. However, crude oil prices bottomed out in June 2017 and have risen ~37.0% since then.
With the mixed performance from natural gas and crude oil, the energy sector has declined in 2017. On December 1, the Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLE) fell ~7.0%. The SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF (XOP), which represents an index of upstream stocks, fell ~12.0% in 2017.
Year-to-date, XLE and XOP have underperformed the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY). On December 1, SPY had risen ~18.0% year-to-date.
In this series…
Having analyzed the year-to-date performance of the broader energy sector in 2017, we’ll now look at the best- and worst-performing stocks from the oil and gas production—or upstream—sector in the US for 2017.
To compile the list of best and worst performers in 2017 from the upstream space, we used only oil and gas producers with market capitalization levels greater than $100 million and a 30-day average trading volume greater than 100,000 shares.
We’ll also analyze the earnings and any developments behind the moves in these stocks. Let’s start with the best-performing stock in 2017 from the upstream sector.