Winning Energy Stocks - Oil, Coal and Alternatives

Crude oil hit yet another record high today, crossing $130 / bbl for the first time ever. Yesterday on CNBC, Boone Pickens predicted $150 oil and on Friday, analysts at Goldman Sachs raised their outlook for crude oil prices during the second quarter of 2008 to average ~$140 per barrel.

The price of Crude Oil has increased by ~39% in 2008 alone, and has more than doubled from a year ago. But is not just crude oil prices that have skyrocketed; the price for heating oil has risen by ~50% and the price for natural gas has escalated ~49% year-to-date. Here is a look at the companies in the S&P 500 Energy sector that have benefited the most from the rally in crude oil.

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But oil is not the only story to watch - Coal is heating up more than oil this year. Since our February post on coal companies that stand to benefit from the rise in Energy prices, Central Appalachian Coal futures at the NYMEX have increased by 28%. Year-to-date, coal-future contracts are higher by a whopping 89%. The following are some of the companies that we mentioned in our February post, and their performance in the past three months.

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With the high cost of fossil fuels, alternative energy, especially solar energy is skyrocketing as well. Some investors anticipate that alternative sources of energy are the next long-term play in energy. Recent winning alternative energy players include: