Why is the energy sector sharply lower today?

Image of oil derricks

From MT Newswires:

Top Energy Stocks

XOM -1.79%

CVX -0.89%

COP -3.90%

SLB -3.15%

OXY -4.13%

Energy stocks were sharply lower, with the NYSE Energy Sector Index falling 2% while shares of energy companies in the S&P 500 were down 2.4% as a group. West Texas Intermediate crude oil for April delivery was slipping $1.40 to $55.26 per barrel at the New York Mercantile Exchange while the global benchmark Brent crude May contract was declining $1.50 to $64.80 per barrel. April natural gas futures were steady at $2.86 per 1 million BTU. Among energy-related ETFs, the United States Oil fund was falling 1.9% while the United States Natural Gas fund was fractionally higher. The Philadelphia Oil Service Sector index was down 3.4%.

Among energy stocks moving on news:

(+) SAExploration Holdings ( SAEX ) climbed 14% after announcing a combined $60 million in new projects, including onshore data acquisition and processing on Alaska’s North Slope. The oilfield services company also will perform shallow-water data collection in southeastern Asia during Q2.

In other sector news:

(+) Cheniere Energy Partners ( CQP ) was 2.9% higher after saying it has completed substantially all of the fifth train at its Sabine Pass natural gas liquefaction project in Cameron Parish, La. Initial commercial deliveries are expected to begin in August.

(-) Overseas Shipholding Group ( OSG ) fell almost 3% on Friday after the energy transportation services company reported a Q4 net loss of $0.05 per share, reversing a $0.61 per share profit during the year-ago period. Shipping revenue declined 4% year over year to $89.2 million. Analyst estimates were not available.

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The Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLE) was trading at $63.60 per share on Friday afternoon, down $1.52 (-2.33%). Year-to-date, XLE has declined -11.36%, versus a 2.64% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.

XLE currently has an ETF Daily News SMART Grade of A (Strong Buy), and is ranked #1 of 38 ETFs in the Energy Equities ETFs category.

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