As shown by the chart below, the relative performance of the energy sector against the market has been topping out for the last few years (blue line), though bulls can be console by the fact that the long-term relative uptrend that began in 1999 remains intact. From a technical perspective, there is a decent chance that the relative decline could be halted at the 50% Fibonacci retracement level, which roughly coincides with the long relative uptrend that began in 1999.
What's more depressing for energy bulls, the press and blogosphere has been full of bearish stories about oil prices, largely because of the shale boom seen in the US:
- Recalling the false messiah of peak oil (FT Alphaville)
- For Oil, Conventional Wisdom No Longer Applies (WSJ)
Watch the smart money
Before getting overly bearish on the long-term outlook for the energy sector, consider this. Warren Buffett was interviewed recently and said that he thought stock prices were fairly valued and he couldn't find much to buy (via Business Insider, emphasis added):
[Buffett] noted that the equity market was fairly valued and stocks were not overvalued. Specifically, Buffett said “They were very cheap five years ago, ridiculously cheap,” and “That’s been corrected.” He also noted, “We’re having a hard time finding things to buy.” One has to take note when the world’s most high profile investor (a long investor), cannot find stocks to buy although he reports his business is improving.If Warren Buffett is having such a difficult time finding values in the market, then why did he put $3.5 billion into Exxon Mobil and $500 million into Suncor Energy?
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