5 Interesting Stats on the Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLE)

The Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLE) is crumbling in step with the broader equities market

by Karee Venema

Published on Jan 20, 2016 at 3:11 PM

Wall Street is in panic mode today, as oil pans 12-year lows on continued oversupply fears. Specifically, February crude futures -- which expired this afternoon -- settled down 6.7% at $26.55 per barrel, after earlier hitting their lowest point since May 2003. Echoing this negative price action is the Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (NYSEARCA:XLE), which was last seen off 4.2% at $50.97. With all eyes on oil, Schaeffer's Quantitative Analyst Chris Prybal -- who recently offered up some interesting stock market indicators at extremes -- highlighted five interesting facts about the exchange-traded fund (ETF) that tracks S&P 500 Index (SPX) stocks in the energy sector.

  1. The XLE's all-time high of $101.52 -- hit in June 2014 -- is roughly five times the ETF's all-time low of $19.38, tagged in July 2002.

  2. 150120xle1

  3. The ETF's 2008 peak near $90 was followed by a 50% retracement to $45 in short order.

  4. 150120xle2

  5. XLE's 2014 peak around $100 has been followed by a quick 50% retracement, last seen at $50.78.

  6. 150120xle3

  7. Per the chart below -- courtesy of amCharts -- the XLE's 5% out-of-the-money put/call skew has plummeted to levels last seen in 2011.

  8. 150120xle4

  9. XLE's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.70 sits in the lowest percentile of its annual range, indicating short-term speculators are more call-heavy now than at any other point in the past year. Meanwhile, the ETF's 10-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) put/call volume ratio of 0.61 sits lower than 98% of all similar readings taken in the last 12 months. In other words, puts have rarely been bought to open over calls at a slower pace over the previous 52 weeks.

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