Chevron's Foot Slips Off the Gas Pedal

Energy-related stocks have performed well so far this year. Over the past three months, the S&P Select Energy SPDR Fund (XLE) has climbed 13%, as money flowed away from high-flying stocks and into companies with more earthbound valuations. However, one leader in the energy sector may be turning. Does this mean energy's solid run is now ending?

My first point is that energy-related stocks aren't necessarily tethered to the price of oil. Check out this chart overlay of the U.S. Oil Fund ETF (USO, green) and shares of Exxon Mobil (XOM, red), the U.S.'s largest oil-producing company. On the left side of the chart, which roughly comprises the second half of last year, USO, which follows the price of West Texas Intermediate Crude, and XOM are moving in opposite directions. Over the past six months, USO and XOM have mirrored each other on many occasions. There's no dependable correlation over the past 12 months, so avoid forming assumptions based on this tenuous relationship....216 more words left in this article. To read them, just click below and try Real Money FREE for 14 days.

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