Marathon Oil’s stock performance
Marathon Oil (MRO) stock rose ~4% from $11.85 to $12.36 last week. MRO’s stock price has been making a pattern of lower highs and lower lows since the start of 2017. MRO is trading below its 50-week and 200-week moving averages. On July 28, 2017, MRO’s stock price closed at $12.36, whereas its 50-week and 200-week moving averages stand at $15.10 and $22.23, respectively. Currently, MRO’s stock price is ~18% below its 50-week moving average.
Crude oil and natural gas prices
Marathon Oil primarily operates in US resource plays and in international locations. Peers Diamondback Energy (FANG), Southwestern Energy (SWN), and Devon Energy (DVN), which also operate in US resource plays, were up ~5%, ~3%, and ~4% in the last week, respectively. Just like MRO, Devon Energy has operations in the Oklahoma Resource Basin. Diamondback Energy is active in the Permian Basin.
In general, natural gas (UNG) and crude oil (USO) exploration and production companies (XOP) have outperformed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by a wide margin in the past week. XOP is up ~4%, whereas SPY was almost flat last week. 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.”
Next, let’s take a look at the short interest in MRO stock.