The refining segment of the energy sector has benefited from lower costs as crude oil declined, which have helped cushion the industry, reports Tom DiChristopher for CNBC.
Moreover, oil majors have tightened their belts, reducing costs by laying off thousands of workers and halted many new projects.
Investors will also be keeping a close eye on dividends, especially with oil prices at $30 per barrel. Oil CEOs have pledged to maintain their dividends, but with oil prices dipping to 13-year lows, traders are growing skittish.
Both Chevron and Exxon have maintained dividend growth for decades, and any dividend cuts may dissuade long-term investors. The SPDR S&P Dividend ETF (NYSEArca: SDY), which holds firms that have a minimum dividend increase streak of 20 years for inclusion, also includes 2.1% CVX and 1.5% XOM weights.
Max Chen contributed to this article.