How the Energy Sector Is Doing This Year



Crude oil, gasoline, and heating oil moving up

Year-to-date, crude oil (USO) has risen ~8% from $60.42 per barrel to $65.07 per barrel, continuing the upward move it started in June 2017. Since then, crude oil prices have risen ~54%. Unleaded gasoline (UGA) and heating oil (UHN) prices have also risen this year, by ~14% and ~3%, respectively, with unleaded gasoline being the strongest energy commodity so far. Gasoline and heating oil prices affect refining companies.

Natural gas prices moving down

This year, natural gas (UNG) has been the only energy commodity to fall, declining ~2% from $2.95 per MMBtu (million British thermal units) on December 29, 2017, to $2.90 per mmBtu on June 19.

Energy stocks

With energy commodities’ mixed performance, the energy sector has moved up this year. The Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLE), which represents the S&P 500’s energy sector, has risen ~3% amid volatility.

On February 21, XLE reached its 2018 low of $63.56. However, XLE has risen since then, to $74.74 as of June 19, due to rising crude oil prices. It is trading above its 50-day and 200-day moving averages of $74.68 and $69.76, respectively. In this series, we’ll look at XLE’s strongest stocks, and analyze the developments behind their movement.

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