ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Buying Opportunities In Energy ETFs With The Big Drop In Crude Oil

Updated on October 14, 2014

In the past few weeks, the price of Crude Oil has plummented to a low of $83.59, rallying to close last week to $85.82 for the November Light Sweet Crude(WTI) delivery contract. These low prices of crude oil have not been seen since around July 2012 around the London Olympics time frame, and have lead to the extreme volatility of the US stock market indices. Energy stocks have been hammered in this volatile October, creating buying opportunities in Energy exchange traded funds(ETFs).

What is Causing the Slumping Price of Crude Oil?

Many factors that are contributing to the drop in the price of crude:

  • Weakening global growth have sparked demand concerns for oil due to the deterioting economic conditions around the world.
  • The United States Shale boom has increased the vast supply of oil in the US, squeezing crude oil prices coupled with the weaking demand. The increase of US supply and availability has balanced against supply shocks due to volatile geopolitical events such as the Ukraine/Russia conflict and the Islamic State's terrorist rise in Iraq as they march towards oil rich Baghdad.
  • The rising strength of the US dollar against the other currencies, has contributed to the falling oil prices, as the US dollar has an inverse relationship with commodity prices. As the US dollar has risen the past few months, crude oil prices have dropped accordingly.

The United States economy has recently show strength and growth highlight by the September US jobs and unemployment report, but the rest of the world has lagged. Last week, the International Monetary fund warned of a eurozone recession due to slowing growth for the 18 nation euro area pressuring Germany, the most influential and powerful member, for action to reverse the trend. Speaking of Germany, the country's recent economic data has shown that exports have fallen in August by 5.8% , sparking German recession fears. The worldwide economic weakness has triggered demand concerns for crude oil.

Will the Saudis Intervene?

In the past, when worldwide crude prices would fall, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries(OPEC) would call an emergency meeting to discuss actions to prop up the falling prices. Lead by the world's largest oil producer Saudi Arabia, the OPEC members would agree to cut an assigned percentage of production to reduce supply, thus stimulating higher prices. Or, the Saudis would act alone and cut production to stimulate the crude prices. Will the Saudis intervene to defend the falling oil prices as they have in the past? The answer is "Yes", but their actions are the opposite as expected. The Saudis have instead cut selling prices of crude to buyers in Asia in September, thus trying to maintain their global market share. Fellow OPEC member and "frenemy" Iran, has matched the Saudis price cuts to its buyers sparking a possible price war among the OPEC members. Saudi Arabia seems content to let the pricing volatility continue, and OPEC does not meet again to discuss production outputs until their next meeting in Mid-November.

Buying Opportunities in Energy stocks and Oil ETFs

Energy Stocks and Oil ETFs have plummeted in the wake of decreasing oil prices, stock market weakness,and volatility creating buying opportunties for invididual investors. With the Saudis not actively participating in putting a floor on crude prices with production cuts in the immediate future, energy stocks and oil ETFs may continue to fall. However, it is impossible to call a bottom, and the individual investor should act sooner than later on the pullback.

While some may not like picking invididual stocks, Exchange Traded Funds give investors the option of buying a basket of stocks in certain sectors to fulfill their investment thesis. With the recent "haircut" in many ETFs and stocks, I wanted to review the opportunities in Energy ETFs as I believe this to be the healthy correction(and buying opportunities) that everyone was waiting for.

Energy Select Sector SPDR - XLE

The largest and my favorite Oil ETF is the Energy Select Sector "spider", the XLE. The XLE was the top performing SPDR ETF among the 9 ETFs in the family in the beginning of the year, topping out at $101.52 on June 23rd. The current price stock price, now at $83.55 during the time of this article, has plummeted near is 52 week low of $81.78 falling over 20% from its 52 week high. In recent shows of CNBC's Fast Money, both Brian Kelly and Josh Brown have become bullish on the XLE have recommended buying on weakness. The XLE is comprised of some of the largest and most widely held energy stocks.

The Top 3 equity holdings of the XLE are:

1. Exxon(XOM): 15.21%
2. Chevron(CVX): 13.00%
3. Schlumberger(SLB): 7.78%

The XLE is a safe and steady investment that pays a 1.96% Dividend Yield. The stocks comprised in the XLE are big, blue chip companies - very safe investments for a more risk-averse individual investor.

XLE Chart - Oversold, but more downside expected.
XLE Chart - Oversold, but more downside expected. | Source

SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF - XOP

The XOP tracks the S&P Oil and Gas Exploration stocks. The XOP is comprised of smaller cap stocks compared to the XLE which will have higher growth rates, thus more risk. The XOP is also a recommedation of CNBC's Brian Kelly. The XOP equity holdings are more diversified and the assets are more distributed among the companies. The XLE on the other hand, have about 28% weight into 2 stocks(XOM & CVX).

The Top 4 equity holdings of the XOP are:

1. Athlong Energy Inc(ATHL): 1.54%
2. Matador Resources Company(MTDR): 1.27%
3. RSP Permian Inc(RSPP): 1.23%
4. Bill Barrett Corporation(BBG): 1.23%

XOP Chart - More downside expected.   Will test the 52 week lows.
XOP Chart - More downside expected. Will test the 52 week lows. | Source


The demand concerns, and production glut in crude oil has caused a 20% drop in prices since the June 2014 highs, thus signaling a bear market. Energy stocks have taken a haircut, providing opportunities to buy the best energy companies for sale. An easy and safe way for an individual investor to participate into these buying opportunities would be to invest into the XLE and XOP ETFs. However, be prepared for more downside for now with the continuing crude price drop, as well as the US Stock market also showing some major weakness and volatility.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)