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Why ExxonMobil, Chevron, and Phillips 66 Stocks Slumped Today

By Rich Smith - Updated Feb 26, 2021 at 4:26PM

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Oil prices drop, and oil stocks drop, too.

What happened

At the close of trading on Friday, shares of Phillips 66 (PSX 3.09%), ExxonMobil (XOM 0.98%), and Chevron (CVX 0.96%) were down 2%, 2.6%, and 2.5%, respectively.

So what

That kind of makes sense. According to the latest data on OilPrice.com, WTI crude oil today costs 3.1% less than it did Thursday ($61.56 per barrel), while Brent crude is down 1.1%.

When you're producing, transporting, refining, and selling oil, and the price of your primary product drops, you're making less money -- and your stock price should drop, too.

At the same time, though, analysts are reporting that the OPEC+ group of oil-producing nations are complying with their existing agreements to constrict oil production. Such over-and-above cooperation on the oil market speaks strongly toward the likelihood that supply will remain constrained enough to support higher prices -- which should be good news for oil stocks.  

What's more, on Friday it was reported that the United States has conducted air strikes against Iran-backed militias operating in Syria, a move that promises to heighten tensions in the Middle East, and give oil buyers jitters.

Again, that's not what one would ordinarily call good news, unless you own oil stocks.  

Oil derricks at sunset

Image source: Getty Images.

Now what

And this morning, two separate analysts, Barclays and Mizuho, raised their price targets on two of the three oil stocks named above, with Barclays making the case for Exxon stock to go to $65 within a year, and Mizuho positing a $96 share price for Phillips 66. (Both analysts also recommend buying the respective stocks.)

All of which is to say that, just because oil prices wobbled down today, doesn't mean they won't wobble right back up again next week -- and probably take these oil stocks higher with them. As long as the macroeconomic factors all point in the direction of higher prices, I don't see much prospect for oil getting permanently cheaper in the immediate future.

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Stocks Mentioned

Exxon Mobil Corporation Stock Quote
Exxon Mobil Corporation
XOM
$97.59 (0.98%) $0.95
Chevron Corporation Stock Quote
Chevron Corporation
CVX
$178.28 (0.96%) $1.69
Phillips 66 Stock Quote
Phillips 66
PSX
$101.73 (3.09%) $3.05

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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