Crude oil surged 4 percent on Thursday, as a military conflict in Yemen led to market-boosting geopolitical supply concerns. However, energy stocks have responded contrarily. The S&P 500 energy sector actually fell a bit on the day, with energy giants Exxon Mobil and Chevron dropping 0.6 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively.
So what explains the divergent reactions in the commodity and in the equities?
"The reason is simple: Today's spike in oil is purely due to the headline from Yemen," Raymond James energy analyst Pavel Molchanov wrote to CNBC. "This is a classic knee-jerk reaction, and the stocks are signaling that oil prices will subside once the Yemen news loses its shock value."
For traders, the real concern around Yemen centers on Saudi involvement. Saudi Arabia shares a long border with Yemen, and has gotten involved in the Yemen conflict by launching airstrikes against Shiite rebels. While Yemen is a minor player in the market, Saudi Arabia is the largest oil exporter in the world.