Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of independent oil and gas companies ATP Oil & Gas (Nasdaq: ATPG), Petroleum Development (Nasdaq: PETD), and Stone Energy (NYSE: SGY) all fell 10% today driven by the price of oil.

So what: Oil was down as much as 4.3% in early trading to $89.17, and the downfall of oil and gas stocks began. Each of these companies started the day trading significantly lower and each has recovered some of the losses throughout the day, paralleling oil's slight rise.

Now what: It's been a volatile couple of months for oil and gas stocks as the price of oil has fluctuated wildly on an almost daily basis. I don't expect that trend to stop as Europe's problems wreak havoc on the market and energy investors fret about the demand for energy if Europe's debt problems get worse. If you're jumping in for the long haul these stocks may be looking attractive, but trying to time moves on a daily basis right now is truly a fool's errand.

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This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.