NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The outlook for crude is optimistic with the December 2011 futures contracts touching $100 a barrel on Nov. 24, according to Bloomberg data. A bullish outlook for crude oil augurs well for energy stocks, especially since the sector took a beating after a BP (BP) deepwater oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico -- one of the biggest natural disasters to date. Crude is up 7%-8% this year, although experts foresee prices hitting $100 a barrel next year as spare production capacity shrinks on accelerating demand.Positive U.S. economic releases, a stable China and India growth rates could support the spike in crude oil prices. However, slower euro zone growth could dampen the uptrend. Nevertheless, the Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) is outperforming the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY), delivering year-to-date returns of 10% and 7%, respectively.
8 Energy Stocks With Upside: Petrobras Leads
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