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Comparing Energy ETFs’ Performance Last Week

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Energy subsector ETFs

In the week ending May 24, major energy subsector ETFs had the following performances:

  • The Alerian MLP ETF (AMLP) fell 1.3%.
  • The VanEck Vectors Oil Refiners ETF (CRAK) fell 2.3%.
  • The SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF (XOP) fell 8%.
  • The VanEck Vectors Oil Services ETF (OIH) fell 8.5%.

Last week, US crude oil prices fell 6.8%, while natural gas active futures fell 2%. The Brent-WTI expanded by $0.77 last week, which might have supported downstream stocks. US sanctions on Iran and Venezuela could be behind the expansion in the spread. The spread might remain higher this week.

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Did oil drag energy ETFs?

With weaker energy commodity prices, the S&P 500 Index (SPY) fell 1.2%—an important factor for these ETFs’ price performance. Apart from earnings sentiments, the oil rig count, which is at a new one-year low, is a concern for the oilfield services subsector.

Energy sector performance

Last week, the Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLE) fell 3.3%. XLE had the largest decline among the sector-specific SPDR ETFs under review. A downside in the equity market might have pulled down XLE’s returns apart from energy commodities’ weakness. The Utilities Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLU) rose 1.8% and outperformed SPDR ETFs. Most of the sector-specific SPDR ETFs closed in the red last week.

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