Oil’s bull market continues unabated! In fact, crude prices are actually outperforming the US stock market. The S&P 500 is essentially flat, down half a percentage point for the year, while US benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude is up 7.3% and international benchmark Brent crude is up about 10.6%.
That’s way better than the last two years, when oil took a beating as OPEC let the pumps flow free and bearish sentiment from everything from Chinese growth to Iranian production kept the pressure up.
Things began looking up in mid-February. Since Feb. 11, WTI and Brent are up 52% and 37%, respectively. OPEC and other oil exporters have finally nailed down a date (April 17) to meet in Qatar and hammer out some kind of deal to “freeze” (not cut) production and let demand catch up to supply. The news has soothed the market’s nerves, as volatility is down considerably from last month.