Oil stocks share a bullish similarity with semis, but ‘no one cares,’ VanEck CEO says

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Investors may want to consider putting money to work in a lagging part of the market.

According to VanEck CEO Jan van Eck, oil stocks are getting a raw deal.

“The [oil] supply is there. The companies are arguably the next best cash flowing companies [compared to] the semiconductors,” he told CNBC’s “ETF Edge” this week. “They’re trading at double-digit cash flow yields for E&Ps [exploration and production] and sectors in the oil market. No one cares. No one cares.”

His firm runs the VanEck Oil Services ETF. As of Jan. 31, FactSet shows the ETF’s largest holdings are Schlumberger, Halliburton and Baker Hughes.

The ETF is down almost 7% so far this year, and it’s off more than 9% percent over the past 52 weeks. So far this year, the S&P 500 is up more than 5% so far this year.

“It’s [energy] underperforming a lot of other things, but not really badly considering the driver for global growth is really on its back right now and could be for a couple years,” said van Eck.

Strategas’ Todd Sohn also characterizes oil stocks as unloved and sees potential for a turnaround.

“They had pretty large outflows last year. And, if tech were to take a hit at some point in this quarter, I would guess the more tactical folks rotate into stuff like energy or even health care,” the firm’s ETF and technical strategist said.

WTI crude just had its best weekly performance since September — capturing most of its gains for the year this week. The commodity climbed 6% to settle at $76.84 a barrel.

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