Two ETFs can help give exposure to oil. Both funds trade futures contracts – there’s no physically-backed oil ETF; can you imagine the storage space that would be required?
United States Oil Fund (NYSEArca: USO) is down year-to-date due to contango. There has been a flattening of the curve, and some suspect backwardation (the exact opposite of contango) could be right around the corner, which would benefit USO. [Gasoline ETF: Offset Higher Prices At the Pump.]
United States 12-Month Oil Fund (NYSEArca: USL) helps mitigate contango that could occur when rolling out of a contract into the next front-month contract. USL has slightly outperformed USO and is up 2% for the year.
Tisha Guerrero contributed to this article.