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Kensho Stats

History shows oil’s troubles may continue in August

Drilling rig Texas
Scott Dalton | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Oil prices have tanked to about $40 from above $50 in early June. But if history is any guide, don't bet on a rebound just yet.

According to Kensho, a tool that crunches historical market data, crude is more likely to fall further.

Here's the best way to play this trend.


Oil has seen a similar scale and pace of losses — $10 or more over two months — nearly 20 times over the last decade. One month later, crude lost another 3 percent on average.

And while the S&P 500 tends to be more resilient during this period, the best trades were defensive.

The utilities sector was the most reliable bet. It traded positive nearly 75 percent of the time and returned almost 2 percent on average. Telecom and consumer staples were also good places to hide out when oil continues to lose ground.

In fact, only one sector has seen negative average returns over these periods — and it's not energy. Financials tend to be the hardest hit sector during oil's continued fall, losing 0.7 percent on average.

Disclosure: NBCUniversal, parent of CNBC, is a minority investor in Kensho.