Some energy stocks could be poised to outperform the market in the wake of OPEC's latest policy decision.
The 14-member producer group on Thursday extended for nine months a deal with other major exporters to cut 1.8 million barrels a day from the market to shrink global stockpiles of crude oil.
CNBC ran a study to see how energy stocks perform a month after OPEC rolls over its policy on pumping crude oil, using hedge fund analytics tool Kensho.
In about 14 instances after OPEC maintained the status quo, the energy sector has traded roughly in line with the broader index. But a number of constituents in the sector have outperformed on average across those cases.
Since 2010, a dozen stocks in the Energy Select Sector SPDR exchange-traded fund, or XLE, have outperformed the S&P 500, according to Kensho.
Spectra Energy actually topped the list with a 3.6 percent average return, but Enbridge closed its acquisition of the natural gas transportation storage company in February. The next highest outperformer was refiner Valero Energy, with a 3 percent average return.
A smaller group of stocks — 10 of the ETF energy names — trades positive more often than the S&P 500 a month after OPEC carries over policy. Nine stocks traded in line with the index on this metric, while 15 traded positive less often.
The XLE traded down 1.8 percent on Thursday for its worst performance since May 4.
Goldman Sachs notes that stability in energy equities earlier on Thursday — despite deteriorating crude oil prices — indicates that the market is starting to see a trough in valuation support for the energy names.
"The OPEC meeting – and a confirmed extension of the OPEC/non-OPEC cuts – was never perceived as an 'all clear' signal to buy energy equities," Goldman said in a research note on Friday. "That said, investors broadly believed that with the meeting in the rearview mirror, the market could focus on receding global inventories."
That creates a path for energy equity sentiment to heal and for portfolio managers to buy in, but investors are still waiting to see if the sector washes out after the holiday weekend, according to Goldman. The bank said the sector has not yet seen true capitulation.
Disclosure: NBCUniversal, parent of CNBC, is a minority investor in Kensho.