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Energy on Defense: Falling Crude and Natural Gas This Week

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Natural gas leading the decline

So far this week (starting November 13, 2017), natural gas (UNG) (BOIL) prices are leading a decline in energy commodities. Natural gas prices fell from last week’s close of $3.21 per MMBtu (million British thermal units) on November 10 to $3.10 per MMBtu on November 14—a fall of more than 3% so far.

Natural gas prices have fallen sharply on Monday and Tuesday of this week and appear to be heading toward the 50-day moving average, which currently stands at $3.03.

All other energy commodities are now falling as well. As of November 14, 2017, crude oil (USO) (USL) prices have fallen 1.83% so far this week, down from last week’s close of $56.74 per barrel to $55.70 per barrel as of Tuesday, November 14.

Unleaded gasoline (UGA) prices are now falling this week, after five weeks of consecutive gains. Unleaded gasoline prices have now fallen from last week’s close of $1.812 per gallon on November 10 to $1.753 per gallon on November 14—a fall of 3.27%.

Remember, gasoline and heating oil prices impact refining companies (CRAK). Heating oil has fallen more than 1% so far this week. As of November 14, 2017, heating oil closed at $1.91 per gallon.

Energy equities

Due to the declines in the natural gas and crude oil, the energy sector is showing a big retreat this week. As of November 14, the Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLE), which represents an index of stocks across the energy sector, has already fallen ~2.2%.

The rising stocks in XLE include Pioneer Natural Resources (PXD), Concho Resources (CXO), Newfield Exploration (NFX), Phillips 66 (PSX), and Range Resources (RRC). These stocks have risen ~3.7%, ~2.8%, ~2.4%, ~2.2%, and ~2.2%, respectively, so far this week.

Marathon Petroleum (MPC) has risen 1.86%.

Falling XLE stocks inclue Newfield Exploration (NFX), Range Resources (RRC), Baker Hughes (BHGE), EQT Corporation (EQT), and Helmerich and Payne (HP), which have fallen ~10.5%, ~9.8%, ~7.4%, ~7.0%, and ~6.5%, respectively, this week. In general, for the week starting November 13, XLE is underperforming the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY), which has fallen 0.14% so far this week.

In this series

Below, we’ll look at the performance of energy subsectors, including the gainers and losers in upstream and oilfield services. We’ll also analyze any news or developments behind these recent moves.

Continue to the next part for a look at the upstream gainers this week.

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