Energy-related exchange traded funds could continue to underperform as big oil companies are expected to be the largest drag on earnings this upcoming season.
The Energy Select Sector SPDR (NYSEArca: XLE), which tracks the S&P Energy Select Sector Index, fell 2.8% so far this year and declined 10% over the past year. [At Least Energy ETFS Have Dividends Going For Them]
Weighing on the energy sector, the U.S. Dollar Index, a gauge of the dollar against a basket of major currencies, has increased 8% so far this year and crude oil prices have plunged another 15%, reports Wallace Witkowski for MarketWatch.
With the combination of a strong dollar and weak energy prices, S&P energy companies that rely on international sales will experience a double whammy.
According to FactSet findings, the energy component will weigh heavily on overall S&P 500 earnings this season.
Specifically, S&P 500 companies with over 50% of sales in the U.S. is expected to experience flat earnings first quarter earnings season, the overall S&P 500 index could see a 4.8% earnings decline and S&P 500 companies with over 50% of sales in the U.S., or large overseas presence, could see earnings plunge 11.6%.