ETF investors have a number of ways to track the crude oil market. The U.S. Oil Fund (NYSEArca: USO) tracks WTI oil and the United States Brent Oil Fund (NYSEArca: BNO) provides exposure to Brent oil. Year-to-date, USO is up 10.8% and BNO is up 1.8%. Both ETFs track front month futures contracts for their respective markets and rolls its contracts over from month to month. [Oil Rising, but Traders Skirt Leveraged ETFs]
Alternatively, the PowerShares DB Oil Fund (NYSEArca: DBO) and United States 12 Month Oil Fund (NYSEArca: USL) provide exposure to WTI oil but include a different weighting methodology to limit the negative effects of contango – later dated contracts are costlier than near month contracts. DBO can include contracts as far out as 13 months and dump contracts at any point. USL, on the other hand, ladders 12 months of contracts to diminish the effects of backwardation and contango. So far this year, DBO has gained 9.6% and USL has increased 8.9%. [More Upside for Energy ETFs]
U.S. Oil Fund
For more information on crude oil, visit our oil category.