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S&P 500 Fell, Brent Crude Hit $80 per Barrel


Nov. 20 2020, Updated 3:30 p.m. ET

S&P 500’s performance 

The S&P 500 fell ~0.1% to 2,720.13 on May 17. The rising US ten-year Treasury yield and escalating trade tensions pressured the S&P 500. Five out of the ten key sectors in the S&P 500 declined on May 17. The SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY) fell ~0.1% to $272 on May 17. SPY seeks to follow the S&P 500 Index’s performance.

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S&P 500’s sectoral performance 

The utilities, technology, and real estate sectors fell 0.8%, 0.5%, and 0.5%, respectively, on May 17. These sectors pressured SPY the most on the same day.

The energy sector, which accounts for ~6.3% of the S&P 500 Index, rose 1.5% on May 17. The energy sector was the top gainer among all of the major sectors. The rise in crude oil and natural gas prices supported energy stocks. The Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLE) rose ~1.5% to $78.72 on May 17. XLE represents the S&P 500 Index’s energy sector.

The sentiments in the commodities and equities markets can impact each other depending on the magnitude of the moves and various fundamental factors affecting each market.


June US crude oil futures were flat at $71.49 per barrel on May 17. The United States Oil ETF (USO) rose ~0.2% to $14.5 on May 17. USO aims to track active WTI oil futures’ performance. Brent crude oil futures rose 0.03% and closed at $79.30 per barrel on May 17. Prices hit an intraday high of $80.5 per barrel on May 17—the highest level since November 24, 2014. The decline in OECD oil inventories, geopolitical tensions, and ongoing production cuts are driving oil prices higher.

June US natural gas futures contracts rose 1.6% to $2.86 per MMBtu on May 17—the highest close since February 2. Prices rose due to warm weather forecasts. The United States Natural Gas ETF (UNG) rose 1.4% to $23.26 on May 17. UNG seeks to track active natural gas futures.

The iShares S&P GSCI Commodity-Indexed Trust (GSG) rose 0.3% to $18.03 on May 17. GSG seeks to track an index composed of a diversified group of commodities futures.

Series overview 

In this series, we’ll discuss US natural gas inventories, supply and demand, and natural gas price forecasts.


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