If April is supposed to be the cruelest month, don't tell the energy sector.
S&P 500 energy stocks are up 6.5 percent over the past month. That is more than double the performance of the next best-performing sector, health care. In fact, energy stocks have risen by more in April than the S&P 500 has risen all year.
Of course, it's not all sunshine and roses for energy names. The sector is still down sharply over the past year, due to crude oil's plunge. But as crude oil prices rise 22 percent off the lows set in mid-March, energy stocks have spotted daylight. And if the oil bounce continues, the energy comeback can be expected to continue alongside it.
"If the price continues to appreciate during the summer months, which is what we seasonally expect, we could certainly see higher prices for energy stocks," said Erin Gibbs, equity chief investment officer with S&P Capital IQ.