Robert Rapier | Senior Contributor for Forbes

After three abysmal quarters in 2020 — due to the triple whammy of an oil price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia, demand destruction as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, and perceptions that oil is giving up its dominance to renewable energy and electric vehicles — the energy sector has dramatically picked up over the past two quarters. The energy sector grossly outpacing the other S&P 500 sectors in Q4 2020, and the sector started off 2021 the way it ended last year. The Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF XLE +3.4% tracks an index of energy companies in the S&P 500. The XLE represents the stocks of large energy companies from different sub-sectors (e.g., integrated, oil production, equipment services). It is, therefore, a good benchmark for conservative energy investors. Some of the XLE’s biggest holdings are ExxonMobil XOM +3%, Chevron CVX +2.5%, ConocoPhillips COP +3.4% , EOG Resources EOG +4.6%, and Schlumberger SLB +4.5%.

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