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Natural Gas Rescues Energy Stocks With Oil in Quarter-Long Slide

  • Dividends and cash management also make companies attractive
  • Best performing energy companies in 3Q are tied to natural gas
A natural gas flare burns near an oil pump jack at an oil field in Grayville, Illinois.

A natural gas flare burns near an oil pump jack at an oil field in Grayville, Illinois.

Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg

It’s an accepted investing axiom that if you want to know what’s happening with energy stocks, check oil prices. That is, until now.

Since the start of the third quarter, West Texas Intermediate crude is down 15% from roughly $106 a barrel to around $90. Just last week it sank to almost $80. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 Energy Index has gone in the opposite direction, gaining 15% over that span, led by 32% surges by Devon Energy Corp. and ConocoPhillips