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Energy is the best-performing sector this summer. Here are the stocks driving it


It’s been a hot summer for energy. The S & P 500 energy sector has outperformed its counterparts since Memorial Day, rallying more than 10% in that time. That gain helped energy recover most of its year-to-date losses. Through Friday’s close, the sector is down just 0.9% for 2023. Energy’s strong summer gains coincided with a 10.2% pop in West Texas Intermediate oil prices, as investors assessed the prospects of better-than-expected economic growth. To be sure, concern around China and new data out of Europe has pushed WTI down more than 2% this month. Given this backdrop, CNBC Pro screened the S & P 500 energy sector to find the best-performing stocks in the space since Memorial Day — and where analysts see them going from here. Marathon Petroleum has led the way for energy this summer, popping more than 32%. On Aug. 1, the company reported better-than-expected net income and revenue. Analysts are also generally bullish on the stock’s prospects going forward. FactSet data shows more than 55% of those covering Marathon Petroleum have a buy rating on it, with the average price target implying 7% upside. Shares are up 23.7% year to date. MPC YTD mountain MPC in 2023 SLB , Halliburton , APA , Baker Hughes , Targa Resourses and Williams Cos . are also key contributors to energy’s summer outperformance, rallying more than 20% each. Shares of SLB, Halliburton and Targa are well liked by analysts, with all three receiving buy ratings from at least 80% of those covering them. Baker Hughes, meanwhile, is expected to rise by 12% based on the average price target, and 70% of analysts rate it a buy. APA’s average price target implies upside of 16.6% over the next 12 months, but less than half of analysts give it a buy rating. Williams only has buy ratings from 39% of analysts, and the average price target signals upside of just 8.6%.

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