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The Future of Finance: Why the Energy Sector is Positioned to Soar in 2024

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In the ebbs and flows of the financial tide, certain sectors rise and fall with the rhythm of the market. While megacap tech stocks bask in the limelight, the unassuming energy sector quietly simmers below the surface, boasting a trifecta of growth, value, and income potential that could propel it to new heights.

At nearly 4% of the S&P 500, the energy sector historically plays second fiddle to more glamorous growth industries. But make no mistake, the energy sector is gearing up for a performance that will steal the show in 2024.

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Image source: Getty Images.

Leading the Pack

Positioning yourself in the energy sector in early April might seem like a cheap shot. With a 12.6% return, energy stands as the frontrunner year to date (YTD), boldly outpacing the S&P 500 for the past three years.

^SPX Chart
^SPX data by YCharts.

The sector’s meteoric YTD ascent in March, largely credited to surging oil prices, underscores its unyielding potential.

Geopolitical Maneuvers

Emerging from the ashes of the 2020 global downturn, the oil and gas industry experienced a renaissance as energy demands resurged worldwide. The specter of Russia’s incursion into Ukraine in February 2022 cast a long shadow over global oil and gas dynamics, keeping demand robust amidst sanctions and supply constrictions. This geopolitical drama affirms the energy sector’s steady outperformance over the past two years.

Global economic stability hinges on a delicate balance of supply and demand, with nations strategically positioning themselves to secure energy supplies. The reliability of U.S. energy exports has become a prized asset, shoring up the industry’s global footprint and bolstering its potential.

Economic prosperity and energy consumption are intertwined. As economic growth gains momentum, energy demand surges, cascading ripples of opportunity across the sector. The promise of lowered interest rates forecasts an uptick in economic activities, a boon for both traditional oil and gas players and renewable energy endeavors.

While renewables faltered in the face of escalating interest rates, oil and gas stalwarts weathered the storm, capitalizing on their financial robustness to pivot towards low-carbon ventures. This dual strategy illuminates their adaptive resilience in navigating the evolving energy landscape.

Fortified Foundations

The Energy Select Sector SDPR Fund (NYSEMKT: XLE), a beacon in the energy ETF space, shines with a modest price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of 8.7 and a generous yield of 3.5%. The sector’s valuation remains a bargain, with earnings showing strong growth trajectories. The stage is set for a sequel to 2023’s financial saga, primed for another blockbuster year.

Key industry players such as ExxonMobil and ConocoPhillips sculpt their strategic blueprints around conservative oil price projections. Current market prices offer a comfortable cushion above their projected benchmarks, inspiring confidence in the sector’s outlook.

Strategic Investments in the Energy Frontier

Investing in the energy sector necessitates a nuanced approach. Integrated majors like ExxonMobil and Chevron present stable entry points, fortified by decades-long dividend growth streaks and diversified revenue streams. Global exposure and a focus on low-carbon solutions position these giants as stalwarts of sustainability in the energy domain.

Alternatively, navigating the energy ETF terrain offers broader exposure with funds such as the Energy Select Sector SDPR Fund and the iShares Global Energy ETF. These vehicles present diverse investment avenues with varying expense ratios, catering to a spectrum of risk appetites.

As investors deliberate on their energy portfolio allocations, a prudent mix of ETFs and individual stocks like Exxon and Chevron may offer a balanced approach. Diversification acts as a financial compass, guiding investors through the volatile energy seas.

Embarking on an Energy Odyssey

The energy sector’s journey ahead brims with promise and potential. With a blend of growth, value, and income drivers, this sector emerges as a beacon of opportunity in the financial landscape. As market dynamics evolve and global energy demand swells, astute investors are primed to seize the riches awaiting in the energy frontier.

Daniel Foelber has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends BP, Chevron, and Enbridge. The Motley Fool recommends Canadian Natural Resources. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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