In this previous article I highlighted the fact that the news and outlook for the energy sector appeared to be reaching the “Everyone knows” stage – as in everyone knows that there is no chance that energy related assets will be advancing in price anytime soon. The outlook has become so universally negative for “all things energy” that it is almost impossible to find anyone who is not bearish on energy. And perhaps a bearish approach is best as forecasts for $20 or even $10 crude oil abound.
(See also Seasonality in Housing Stocks)
Still, just for the record, we are entering the time of year when energy stocks end to perform well. Granted there are never any guarantees when it comes to seasonal trends and no way to know in advance if it will be different “this time around”. Nevertheless, the old adage states that “opportunity is where you find it.” Is it possible that gutsy investors and traders may find it in the energy sector? Let’s take a look.
Fidelity Select Energy Services (Ticker FSESX)
There has been a strong tendency for energy service stocks to perform well during late winter and early spring. How well? Figure 2 displays the growth of $1,000 invested in ticker FSESX only between the end of January and the close of the first trading day of May every year since 1989.
Figure 2 – Growth of $1,000 invested in FSESX during “bullish” period
Figure 3 displays the % gain or loss experienced by FSESX during the “bullish” time period each year since 1989.
Figure 3 – Annual Results for FSESX during “bullish” period
Key things to note – FSESX:
*Showed a gain 23 times (85% of the time)
*The average gain was +17.1%
*The median gain was +14.0%
*The largest gain was +62.2% (1999)
*Showed a loss 4 times (15%)
*The average loss was -2.9%
*The median loss was -2.1%
*The largest loss was -6.9% (1997)
So are energy service stocks sure to advance in the months ahead? Not at all. Still when you combine a sector entering a seasonally bullish period with sentiment regarding that sector that is universally negative – you may the ingredients for a surprisingly favorable move.