With the world awash in crude, major international oil companies have underperformed the market all year. After a strong performance since Feb. 23, they took a hit on Mar. 9 after Saudi Arabia vowed not to cut production: The S&P index of integrated global oils dropped 1.6%, to 764. But it's bouncing back. On Mar. 10, PaineWebber oil analyst Frank Knuettel, a onetime bear, upgraded the sector, saying the worst may be over. That spiked the index up to 775.

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