“At the beginning of April, earnings for the oil group were expected to be up a whopping 222 percent for the period ending Sept. 30th, but now they’re expected to be up only a little more than half that, at 132 percent,” according to CNBC.

Related: U.S. Shale Producers Still a Challenge for Oil Prices

XLE’s fortunes are largely tied to the biggest U.S. oil companies. Exxon Mobil (NYSE: XOM) and Chevron (NYSE: CVX). Dow components Exxon and Chevron are the two largest U.S. oil companies and are major components in XLE and rival ETFs such as the Fidelity MSCI Energy Index ETF (NYSEArca: FENY) and the Vanguard Energy ETF (NYSEArca: VDE).

“The second problem is just as serious: how do you get anyone interested in the energy story, even with stocks at new lows?,” notes CNBC.

For more information on the oil market, visit our oil category.