BALTIMORE ( Stockpickr) -- With energy prices sitting near highs for most of 2011, energy stocks have proven a solid bet so far this year. While yesterday's selloff officially knocked the S&P 500 down to a loss since the first trading day of January, the energy sector has brought in positive returns of nearly 5%. Take out big-name energy stocks from the S&P, and the difference is even more striking.Energy plays have long been a good way for investors to hedge their bets against the market. That's because their performance is so heavily predicated on commodity prices, which don't correlate strongly with the stock market. Energy names also tend to pay out respectable dividends -- providing returns to shareholders regardless of market sentiment. So when stocks are looking soft (as they are now), energy stocks can offer sought-after gain potential.
5 Energy Stocks to Squeeze the Shorts
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