The following video is part of our "Motley Fool Conversations" series, in which energy editor/analyst Joel South and industrials editor/analyst Isaac Pino discuss topics across the investing world.
Energy stocks have been the whipping boys of the market this past year due to low natural gas prices and unprecedented reserve levels. Oil and gas services companies have seen respectable growth in the first quarter almost exclusively because a growing number of rigs have switched from natural gas plays to oil and liquids rigs. This week will define the fate of big oil, with three of the United States' top players in the exploration and production sector releasing earnings. ConocoPhillips missed on earnings expectations, but will this translate into ExxonMobil and Chevron witnessing the same fate? Or will Thursday and Friday show us that refining margins caused by the spread between West Texas Intermediate and Brent crude prices will be enough to push the titans into positive territory -- and reclaim some respect from Wall Street this earnings season?
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