Equity-based energy exchange traded funds with hefty allocations to the biggest U.S. oil stocks, such as Exxon Mobil (NYSE: XOM) and Chevron (NYSE: CVX), have been decent though not spectacular performers this year.

For example, the Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund (NYSEArca: XLE) is up an S&P 500-lagging 23% year-to-date. Recently, XLE was shuttled down to the fifth spot from third in terms of assets among the nine sector SPDR ETFs. [XLV Rises to Third Spot Among Sector ETFs]

Investors willing to incur more volatility have done better with the SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF (NYSEArca: XOP), which has gained 26% this year. More upside could be on the way for the $1.08 billion XOP.

XOP’s “50-day moving average has remained in an uptrend throughout the basing action. The 10-day moving average is currently below the 50-day MA, but it has stopped making lower lows the past few weeks,” according to Deron Wagner of Morpheus Trading Group.

XOP currently resides about 1.4% below its 50-day moving average and Wagner notes it is critical to the ETF’s fortunes to close above that line “as this would also result in a break of the daily downtrend line.”