Downtrodden oil services exchange traded funds got a lift late in Thursday’s session on reports that Halliburton (NYSE: HAL), the second-largest provider of oilfield services, could acquire rival Baker Hughes (NYSE: BHI).
The Wall Street Journal, which broke the news, reports that a price tag for the deal, which is not yet official, has not been revealed but that a premium for Baker Hughes is likely. Halliburton closed with a market value of about $45.6 billion Thursday while Baker Hughes’ market cap at the close was $25.4 billion after the stock surged 15.2%.
Despite the news of a possible marriage between two of its largest components, the Market Vectors Oil Service ETF (NYSEArca: OIH) closed lower Thursday as did its primary rival, the iShares U.S. Oil Equipment & Services ETF (NYSEArca: IEZ), underscoring the sensitivity to oil prices possessed by these ETFs. [No Love for Oil Services ETFs]
Halliburton and Baker Hughes are OIH’s second- and fourth-largest holdings, respectively, combining for just over 20% of the ETF’s weight. IEZ allocates about 15.5% of its combined weight to Halliburton and Baker Hughes.
The two ETFs could use some good news. Over the past three months, the pair is down an average of 17.6%. Over that time, only 23 ETFs have lagged OIH. Highlighting the lingering weakness in the energy patch, 10 of those 23 ETFs are energy-related.
Currently, there are 48 members of the S&P 500 trading between zero and 10% above their 52-week lows and of that group, five of those stocks are oil services names.