Energy stocks are getting crushed today on a number of negative factors. Weak earnings reports at some large conglomerates have investors worried about global growth, and if the global economy doesn't grow, the need for more oil and gas diminishes. As a result, oil and gasoline prices are down significantly today, and energy stocks are moving lower.
What's really going on
The price of oil has dropped dramatically over the past three days and is now trading near $86 per barrel, a 3% drop from yesterday. A rising dollar and worries about economic growth are having a negative impact today and will likely put pressure on the commodity going forward.
As a result, oil explorers are being crushed across the board. Continental Resources (NYSE: CLR), Kodiak Oil & Gas (UNKNOWN:KOG.DL), and Enerplus (NYSE:ERF) are all down over 2.5% on the oil news. Sandridge Energy (UNKNOWN:SD.DL) is the laggard of the group, falling 5% in trading today. These companies won't likely see earnings hit in the near term because they can hedge production, but long term, they may see a decline in revenue and earnings if the price of oil remains low.
It isn't just energy stocks that are falling today -- so are companies tied to gasoline. The price of a gallon of gas is down $0.12 in just the last week, and the price of gas has fallen for 12 days in a row. As a result, refiners and marketers Phillips 66 (NYSE:PSX), Marathon Petroleum (NYSE: MPC), and Valero Energy (NYSE:VLO) are all down precipitously. Valero and Phillips 66 are both down over 3.5%.
Impact on the economy
Ironically, the falling price of oil and gasoline is good for the U.S. economy because it will leave more cash in consumers' pockets. That will help this slow recovery take hold, and I think it will bring commodity prices up again.
Oil has dropped near $80 per barrel twice in the last two years only to rebound, and unless we head into a recession, I think it will do the same again this time. Today's worries are a great buying opportunity for the long-term investor. One such opportunity to look into is SandRidge.
Fool contributor Travis Hoium has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. You can follow Travis on Twitter at @FlushDrawFool, check out his personal stock holdings or follow his CAPS picks at TMFFlushDraw.
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