Major energy stocks were relatively stagnant kin trading as investors pause for directional indicators. The slowing of global economic growth would naturally drive energy stocks lower but the dueling facts concerning the growing populations and expanding middle class in emerging nations would push prices higher long term. The see-saw of these opposing elements led shares to a relatively even end today.
Tuesday saw energy stocks like Sunoco (SUN), in the process of shedding noncore assets, much lower. The company’s announcement that it would be selling its phenol manufacturing facility in Haverhill, Ohio, to Haverhill Chemicals for $106 million, set off alarms for energy investors and led to a considerable sell-off that impacted much of the sector. That trajectory was reversed today, with many companies edging just slightly higher or staying about even.
Anadarko Petroleum (APC) also declined yesterday after it was revealed that a number of hedge funds, Paulson & Co. included, had slashed stakes in the company. Again, that seemed forgotten today as investors snapped up a few shares here and there on the dip.
The NYSE Arca Oil Index was higher for the day, though the gains were highly distributed across the sector.
Many smaller oil companies including Voyager Oil & Gas Inc. (VOG) and Northern Oil & Gas Co. (NOG) were making the largest by percentage gains. The lack of clarity right now has less of an impact on companies with smaller market-caps as their demand will likely not falter to an extreme and their low share prices minimize risk.
In terms of larger oil companies, Chevron (CVX) and Conoco Phillips (COP) ascended with more strength than most other top oil companies. Valero (VLO) was down slightly for the day while Exxon Mobil (XOM) also regained some of it reached an agreement with San Miguel Corporation (SMC) for the sale of ExxonMobil’s interest in three businesses operating in the Malaysian Downstream petroleum sector.