Oil prices fell again Thursday with West Texas Intermediate futures finishing lower by nearly 1%. The benchmark U.S. crude contract continues to labor below $50 per barrel and the United States Oil Fund (NYSEArca: USO), which tracks West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures, is off 20.1% over the past month.
Predictably, oil’s decline is adversely affecting equity-based energy, particularly those that are light on exposure to large- and mega-cap integrated oil names. Exchange traded funds heavy on exploration and production names have been bludgeoned with the SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF (NYSEArca: XOP) sliding 18% over the past month, almost matching USO tumble dollar-for-dollar. [Energy ETF Investors Should Brace for ‘New Oil Order’]
Enter the newly minted Direxion Daily S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production Bear Shares (NYSEArca: DRIP). DRIP, which debuted in late May, attempts to deliver triple the daily inverse performance of the S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production Select Industry Index, XOP’s underlying benchmark. [New ETFs for the Bold Energy Investor]
“As of April 30, 2015, the Index was comprised of 98 stocks. The companies included in the Index have a median market capitalization of $3.89 billion and are concentrated in the energy and oil and gas sectors as of April 30, 2015. Component securities have capitalizations ranging from $412.7 million to $366.0 billion as of April 30, 2015,” according to Direxion.
Said another way, DRIP’s timing is pretty good. A gain of almost 77% since coming to market confirms as much and DRIP’s party may not be over yet.