Did Bearishness in Equity Markets Cause Oil’s Fall?


Apr. 9 2018, Updated 11:01 a.m. ET

US equity indexes

On March 29–April 6, 2018, US equity indexes had the following performances:

  • The S&P 500 Index (SPY) fell 1.4%.
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average Index (DIA) fell 0.7%.
  • The S&P Mid-Cap 400 Index (IVOO) fell 1.3%.

Rising concerns about international trade dragged these equity indexes. In fact, the fall in the broader market could have also dragged oil prices. Sentiments in the oil and equity markets are often related. Approximately 5.5%, 5.2%, and 3.8%, respectively, of the equity indexes are energy stocks. US crude oil May futures fell 4.4% on March 29–April 6, 2018. In Part 1, we discussed the factors that caused US crude oil prices to fall.

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On March 29–April 6, 2018, the Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLE) fell 0.1%—the least on our list of SPDR ETFs. These ETFs break up the broad market’s performance into subsectors. In fact, all of the SPDR ETFs on our list closed in the red during this period. The Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK) fell 2.1%—the most among the subsectors.

Energy ETFs

On March 29–April 6, 2018, the performances of the subsectors in the energy sector were:

  • The VanEck Vectors Oil Services ETF (OIH) rose 0.1%.
  • The Alerian MLP ETF (AMLP) fell 0.2%.
  • The SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF (XOP) fell 1.6%.

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