After an enormous, pandemic-induced crash in 2020, the stock market in the United States has returned to winning ways and is having yet another banner year this year. The S&P 500 is up 16.0 percent so far this year and continues to set new all-time highs. Few market segments, however, have fared better than the long-suffering energy sector.
After years of underperformance, the energy sector has been a star performer this year, with the Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF up 30.0 percent year to date, second only to the retail sector’s SPDR S&P Retail ETF’s 49.8 percent year to date gain. The Delta Covid-19 version has cast a pall over the entire market. On the other hand, analysts argue that the latest wave of infections has yet to convert into a drop in consumer spending, with significant consumer spending indices including air traffic, dining out, and movie box office remaining in the black.
On Thursday, futures were trading at $3.95/MMBtu, putting them on course for their fourth month of solid rises. Natural Gas prices had risen 63.4 percent this year and 135.7 percent from a year ago, with prices returning to levels last seen in December 2018, when gas was above $4.