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Saturday, May 17, 2008

Solar & Airline Sector Vs Crude Oil

Crude oil price has been setting record highs almost every day. Other than energy stocks, there are also 2 other sectors that are correlated to crude oil prices.

1) Solar sector
This sector is red hot! It is a beneficiary of high oil prices as everyone looks to alternative energy. Here's a 6 month chart of Oil Service HOLDRs (AMEX:OIH) vs First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR). Left scale for FSLR, right scale for OIH. Blue line represent FSLR, black line is OIH. See how they move in tandem. Positive correlation.

Other stocks in this sector includes CSIQ, SOL, JASO, LDK, STP, SPWR etc. TAN is recent ETF for this sector. But note that within this solar group, there are some stocks that exhibit relative strength than others. Example of stronger solar stocks include FSLR, CSIQ, SOL.

Today, Goldman Sachs raised their crude forecast for the second half of the year to $141 from $107 based on supply constraints, If this is materialize, solar stocks could be in for another ride up. But on a personal note, I do hope this will not come true. Here in the U.S gas stations, I've already started to see it cross the $4/gallon mark!

2) Airline sector
Oil is a big part of this business and their margins are getting squeezed by the surging oil price. Needless to say, it has a negative correlation to oil prices. See
Oil Service HOLDRs (AMEX:OIH) vs Continental Airlines, Inc. (NYSE: CAL) chart below.

Left scale for CAL, right scale for OIH. Blue line represent CAL, black line is OIH. Observe how these two usually moves in opposite direction. From what I know, CAL, SKYW and UAUA are the only 3 optionable airline stocks still trading above $10. But if oil prices continues to rise at such rate, its a matter of time these 3 stocks sink below $10 as well.

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