Year-to-date, Marathon Oil (MRO) stock has fallen ~21.0%, from $17.20 to $11.85. The stock has been making a pattern of lower highs and lower lows since the start of 2017. On a weekly time frame, MRO stock is trading below its 50-week and 200-week moving averages. On July 21, 2017, MRO stock closed at $11.85, whereas its 50-week and 200-week moving averages were $15.14 and $22.33, respectively. Currently, MRO stock is ~22.0% below its 50-week moving average.
Crude oil and natural gas prices
Since the start of fiscal 2017, MRO stock has underperformed crude oil (USO) and natural gas (UNG). In that time period, crude oil (USO) prices have fallen from $53.72 per barrel to $45.77 per barrel, a fall of almost 15.0%. Natural gas (UNG) prices fell 20.0% during the same period. Natural gas prices fell from $3.73 per MMBtu (million British thermal unit) to $2.96 per MMBtu.
Marathon Oil primarily operates in US resource plays and at some international locations. Peers such as Diamondback Energy (FANG), Southwestern Energy (SWN), and Devon Energy (DVN), which also operate in US resource plays, have fallen ~9.0%, ~47.0%, and ~30.0%, respectively, in fiscal 2017. Like MRO, Devon Energy has operations in the Oklahoma resource basin. Diamondback Energy is active in the Permian Basin. In general, year-to-date, natural gas (UNG) and crude oil (USO) exploration and production companies (XOP) have underperformed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by a wide margin. The SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF (XOP) has fallen ~23.0%, and SPY has risen ~11.0% in 2017. According to the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust prospectus, “The investment seeks to provide investment results that, before expenses, correspond generally to the price and yield performance of the S&P 500 Index.”
Next, let’s take a look at the possible trading range for MRO stock for the next week.