On Monday, the VanEck Vectors Oil Services ETF (NYSEArca: OIH) jumped 5.56% on volume, nearly 50% above the daily average, extending its one-week gain to 12.31%.
Recent bullishness by OIH is a reminder that oil services stocks, including the names residing in this exchange traded fund, are often highly correlated to crude prices in both directions. Fortunately, oil’s path is currently higher with West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures hitting their highest levels in two months on Monday. Some analysts believe that the good times will continue in the oil patch.
“While we have long held a bullish oil view, the current global oil supply-demand deficit is larger than we expected, with the recovery in global demand from the delta impact even faster than our above consensus forecast and with global supply remaining short of our below consensus forecast,” said Goldman Sachs analyst Damien Courvalin in a note out Monday.
OIH is currently higher by 30.79% year-to-date and could add to those numbers in the fourth quarter with the help of a cold winter, which could keep natural gas prices elevated, and with some support from a strong holiday travel season, which could prop up demand for jet fuel. Speaking of fuel, there’s some for OIH’s fire as energy recently returned to the top spot among S&P 500 sectors this year after falling to second place over the summer.
Adding to the OIH case, particularly due to the historical correlations of oil services stocks to the underlying commodity, is that this year, the energy sector is actually lagging crude prices.
“The disparity in performance between the price of oil and the sector in our view suggests that oil stocks may have further upside in the near term,” Oppenheimer Asset Management chief investment strategist John Stoltzfus wrote in a note to clients.
The $2.4 billion OIH is home to 25 stocks, but the table-setters are Schlumberger (NYSE:SLB) and Halliburton (NYSE:HAL). Those giants of oilfield services combine for a third of OIH’s weight, meaning that so goes that pair, so goes the ETF. While oil services stocks aren’t for the faint of heart, OIH could be a winning long-term idea.
“Analysts at BMO, meanwhile, said the oil market is in the ‘early stages of a multi-year upcycle,’ pointing to similarities between the current market and oil’s activity between 2002 and 2014,” reports Pippa Stevens for CNBC. “Amid this backdrop of growing demand and hampered supply, the energy sector has the strongest financial outlook in more than 15 years, according to BMO.”
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The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.