Oil rallied again today with U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate up 4.79% on the day to $114.79 a barrel and international benchmark Brent up 5.12% to $121.39 a barrel.
So, naturally, oil and gas equities stocks are up today. And the broader market is down.
What else isn’t new?
The Standard & Poor’s 500 Energy Index is up 39% for 2022 as of the close on March 22. The S&P 500 itself is down 6%.
The correlation between the S&P 500 Energy Index and the broader S&P 500 has gone negative for the first time since 2001. (That means when the Energy Index goes up the S&P 500 goes down. And vice-versa.)
This is a pattern that has historically preceded a Recession.
Today among energy stocks that I’ve added to my online portfolios in 2022, ConocoPhillips (COP) closed up 2.55%; Cheniere Energy (LNG) added 3.95%; Equinor (EQNR) advanced 2.22%; and Pioneer Natural Resources (PXD) gained 1.39%. The Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF was ahead 1.80% at the close.
Eventually the relationship between energy stocks and the general market will revert to its historical positive correlation from the current negative correlation.
Unfortunately, the most likely way that relationship will normalize is for energy stocks to go into a retreat because of a Recession that took down the general market as well.
That would bring energy stocks and the S&P 500 back into correlation.
I don’t expect investors to be cheering.