Major Oil Stocks Continue to Slide as Crude Closes Below $100 (NYSEARCA:XLE)

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The energy sector (XLE -3.7%) took a big beating Tuesday and the group was the only S&P sector to end in negative territory, as crude oil prices dipped below $100/bbl.

April WTI Crude (CL1:COM) firm -6.4% at $96.44/bbl, its lowest settlement since Feb. 28, and May Brent crude (CO1:COM) ended -6.5% at $99.91/bbl, its lowest since February 25; both benchmarks entered a bear market, down more than 20% from their March 8 settlements, which had marked 14-year highs.

The five biggest losers of the day on the S&P 500 were oil and gas names: VLO -6.8%BKR -5.7%XOM -5.7%SLB -5.5%CLC -5%.

But others rebounded somewhat to complete bigger early losses, including MRO -2.4%ABS -2.3%OXY -1.9%.

ETFs: USO, UCO, SCO, BNO, XOP, VDE, OIH, DRIP

The widespread COVID-related lockdowns in China are scare the market“given its impact on energy demand, as well as the uncertainty it brings about further lockdowns,” Kpler analyst Matt Smith said. MarketWatch.

“Growth concerns sparked by the wave of Ukraine-Russia stagflation and the rise in the FOMC this week, and the hope that progress will be made in the Ukraine-Russia negotiations” are weighing on pricesaccording to Jeffrey Halley of Oanda.

Additionally, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said US sanctions against his country would not affect progress toward a nuclear deal with Iran.

But Vladimir Putin reportedly told European Council President Charles Michel that Ukraine is “not showing a serious attitudeto end the fighting between the two countries.

Finally, OPEC warned in its monthly report that inflation fueled by the Russian-Ukrainian war could undermine oil consumption, but it did not change its forecast of strong demand this year.

Steve R. Hansen