Crude oil and natural gas prices
Last week, the crude oil (USO) price continued with its falling weekly trend. Crude oil prices fell from $45.83 per barrel to $44.97 per barrel, a decline of ~2%. This was the fourth weekly decline in a row for crude oil prices. Natural gas (UNG) prices were mostly flat last week.
Amid weaker crude oil (USO) prices, ConocoPhillips (COP) outperformed crude oil and industry peers by a wide margin. COP’s stock price rose ~4% from $44.82 to $46.53. On Monday, COP stock started the week on a positive note. On Tuesday, it achieved the majority of the gains for the week. The stock saw declines on Wednesday and Thursday but had a strong finish on Friday.
Despite the decrease in crude oil prices last week, the Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLE) outperformed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY). The S&P 500 ETF (SPY) was almost flat, whereas XLE was up by more than half a percentage point last week. COP’s peers Energen (EGN) and Occidental Petroleum (OXY) fell ~7% and ~1%, respectively, last week. Just like ConocoPhillips, EGN and OXY have operations in the Permian Basin.
XLE generally invests at least 95% of its total assets in oil and gas companies. According to the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust prospectus, “The Trust seeks to provide investment results that, before expenses, correspond generally to the price and yield performance of the S&P 500 Index.”
In the next part, we’ll take a look at COP’s implied volatility.