People watch stocks for different reasons -- they're waiting for a dip in price, watching for a specific catalyst, gathering all the news and information that might affect stocks they already own, or considering a sell. Regardless of their motivation, we can better understand market sentiment by seeing who's watching what. With the Fool's free My Watchlist service, we have tens of thousands of people telling us the businesses that have, for whatever reason, piqued their interest.

The most-watched oil and gas stock is ...
Looking at the aggregate data, we see that ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM) is above the rest in terms of watch interest, the percentage of people keeping an eye on oil and gas stocks in general who are specifically watching each company. And for good reason.

Exxon is trading at roughly the same price it did in mid-2007, with a P/E ratio of 12.7 and a current dividend yield of 2.2 %. With oil prices high and increasing, the dividend is certainly safe. In fact, Fool analyst Todd Wenning recently gave its dividend a grade of A, scoring 4.6 points out of 5.

Here are the rest of the top 15 most-watched companies in the industry with their watch interest along with the stocks' CAPS rating to show the sentiment of our investing community.

 

Company

Market Cap (millions)

CAPS Rating (out of 5)

Watch Interest

1

ExxonMobil $393,266 **** 8.4%

2

Chesapeake Energy (NYSE: CHK) $22,787 ***** 4.3%

3

Chevron (NYSE: CVX) $199,761 **** 4.0%

4

ConocoPhillips $105,422 ***** 3.5%

5

Kinder Morgan Energy Partners (NYSE: KMP) $22,676 ***** 2.8%

6

Petroleo Brasileiro $235,540 **** 2.5%

7

Denbury Resources $8,859 ***** 2.2%

8

Enterprise Products Partners $33,798 ***** 2.0%

9

Devon Energy $36,573 ***** 2.0%

10

Ultra Petroleum $7,011 ***** 1.9%

11

Valero Energy $15,613 ***** 1.5%

12

Spectra Energy $16,541 **** 1.5%

13

Linn Energy (Nasdaq: LINE) $6,655 **** 1.4%

14

ATP Oil & Gas (Nasdaq: ATPG) $855 ***** 1.3%

15

SandRidge Energy (NYSE: SD) $4,275 ***** 1.3%

Whether you're keeping an eye on the industry stalwarts like Exxon or are watching an up-and-comer like ATP Oil & Gas, it pays to watch. We can help you keep tabs on your companies with My Watchlist, our free, personalized stock tracking service. Click here to start now.

Dan Dzombak's musings and articles he finds interesting can be found on his Twitter account: @DanDzombak. He owns ATP Oil & Gas LEAPS.

Chevron, Enterprise Products Partners, Petroleo Brasileiro, and Spectra Energy are Motley Fool Income Investor choices. The Fool owns shares of Denbury Resources, Devon Energy, ExxonMobil, Petroleo Brasileiro, and Ultra Petroleum. Motley Fool Alpha owns shares of Chesapeake Energy. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.