Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp. may have put an end to their long-running underperformance versus the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index even as oil falls below $30 a barrel.

The relative strength chart, shown as Exxon and Chevron divided by the S&P 500, indicates that over the past few months, the two companies are doing no worse (and no better) than the broader market. That halts a trend in place since the start of 2012. One possible reason: Exxon and Chevron probably are able to maintain -- and perhaps even increase -- their dividend payouts amid an industry that’s too cash starved to do that.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal. LEARN MORE