Oil Continues to Follow the S&P

The S&P 500 is down today, and true to the trend of the past few months, oil is following.

Look at the chart below - oil (white line, right axis) has been tracking with the S&P (green line, left axis) since March 2008. Looking back before then, they did no track as closely although they did move in parallel from early 2004 to mid 2006.


Source: ThomsonReuters, data as of 11:30 am EST

Sharon Epperson, who covers crude trading for CNBC, explained "It's the S&P along with the dollar that has been determining the direction of oil prices for months. Fundamentals don't seem to matter. It's all about flows... Money flows into stocks and commodities as the dollar has weakened. This is why oil is near $70, even though demand is near a 20 year low and oil supplies are at a two-decade high."

Energy stocks on the S&P down most today include:

  • Valero Energy
  • Tesoro
  • Sunoco
  • Pioneer Natural Resources
  • National Oilwell Varco
  • Nabors Industries
  • ENSCO International
  • Denbury Resources

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