#2: Vanguard Energy ETF (VDE)

VDE is linked to the MSCI US Investable Market Energy 25/50 Index. The index consists of small to large companies within the overall energy sector from drillers, distributors, drilling rigs and equipment, production and marketing of oil and gas products. You'll note the index is heavily weighted by XOM at 22.5%. The fund was launched in September 2004. The expense ratio is .25%. AUM is $1.6 billion while average daily trading volume is around 190K shares. As of late November, 2011 the annual dividend yield was 1.32% with YTD performance of -6.05%.

VDE Top Ten Holdings & Weightings

Data as of November, 2011
  1. Exxon Mobil Corporation (XOM): 22.25%
  2. Chevron Corp (CVX): 11.65%
  3. Schlumberger NV (SLB): 6.57%
  4. ConocoPhillips (COP): 4.98%
  5. Occidental Petroleum Corporation (OXY): 4.52%
  6. Apache Corporation (APA): 2.72%
  7. Halliburton Company (HAL): 2.67%
  8. Anadarko Petroleum Corp (APC): 2.17%
  9. Marathon Oil Corp (MRO): 2.14%
  10. National Oilwell Varco, Inc. (NOV): 1.89%

#3: PowerShares Dynamic Energy ETF (PXI)

PXI follows the Dynamic Energy Sector Intellidex Index which is a so-called "enhanced" index strategy that evaluates constituents and modifies holdings according to quantitative valuations. The fund was launched in October 2006. The expense ratio is .60%. AUM equal $125M and average daily trading volume is around 47K shares. As of late November 2011 the annual dividend was yield .98% and the YTD return was -5.75%. (Note: we also rank this highly due to the good upside performance (14.57%) at the high in summer 2011 while the decline of YTD performance was similar to the conventional indexes. True enough, the drawdown from the highs was more impressive but you'll expect this from enhanced indexes.)

PXI Top Ten Holdings & Weightings

Data as of November, 2011

1.    Williams Partners LP (WPZ): 3.03%

2.    Exxon Mobil Corporation (XOM): 2.86%

3.    EQT Corp. (EQT): 2.80%

4.    ConocoPhillips (COP): 2.77%

5.    El Paso Corporation (EP): 2.75%

6.    Chevron Corp (CVX): 2.73%

7.    Hess Corp (HES): 2.69%

8.    FMC Technologies, Inc. (FTI): 2.58%

9.    Southwestern Energy Company (SWN): 2.58% 

10.  Devon Energy Corp (DVN): 2.46

#4: First Trust ISE-Revere Natural Gas Index Fund (FCG)

FCG follow the ISE-Revere Natural Gas Index which represents stocks of companies deriving a substantial portion of their earnings from natural gas exploration and production. The fund was launched in May 2007. The expense ratio is .60%. AUM is less than $365M and average daily trading volume is a little under 300K shares. As of late November 2011 the fund dividend was .31% and YTD return for the same period was -12%. 

Direxion Shares offers leveraged long and short ETFs to hedge or speculate linked to this and a similar index.

FCG Top Ten Holdings & Weightings

Data as of November, 2011
  1. Exxon Mobil Corporation (XOM): 3.91%
  2. Questar Corp (STR): 3.83%
  3. ConocoPhillips (COP): 3.77%
  4. Statoil ASA ADR (STO): 3.71%
  5. Royal Dutch Shell PLC ADR A (RDS.A): 3.69%
  6. Range Resources Corporation (RRC): 3.56%
  7. Southwestern Energy Company (SWN): 3.55%
  8. Anadarko Petroleum Corp (APC): 3.45%
  9. Ultra Petroleum Corporation (UPL): 3.40%
  10. Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation A (COG): 3.38%

#5: iShares S&P Global Energy Sector Index Fund (IXC)

IXC follows the S&P Global Energy Sector Index. The fund was launched November 2001. The expense ratio is higher than others at .48%. AUM is nearly $988 million and average daily trading volume is around 340K shares. As of late November 2011 the annual dividend yield was 2.22%.and YTD return over the same time period was -9.02%.   

IXC Top Ten Holdings & Weightings

Data as of November, 2011
  1. Exxon Mobil Corporation (XOM): 14.09%
  2. Chevron Corp (CVX): 7.79%
  3. BP Plc (BP.): 5.23%
  4. Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSA): 4.71%
  5. Total SA (FP): 4.62%
  6. Royal Dutch Shell PLC B (RDSB): 3.69%
  7. Schlumberger NV (SLB): 3.68%
  8. ConocoPhillips (COP): 3.54%
  9. Occidental Petroleum Corporation (OXY): 2.81%
  10. BG Group PLC (BG.): 2.76%

#6: SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF (XOP)

XOP follows the S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production Select Industry Index. The fund was launched in June 2006. Uniquely the index is equally weighted. The expense ratio is .35%. AUM equal around $880 million and average daily trading volume is 7.7M shares. As of late November 2011 the annual dividend yield was 1.30% and YTD return was -8.06%.

XOP Top Ten Holdings & Weightings

Data as of November 2011
  1. Brigham Exploration Company (BEXP): 1.66%
  2. Approach Resources, Inc. (AREX): 1.65%
  3. Clayton Williams Energy Inc. (CWEI): 1.61%
  4. GeoResources, Inc. (GEOI): 1.59%
  5. Energy XXI (Bermuda) Ltd. (EXXI): 1.57%
  6. Northern Oil & Gas, Inc. (NOG): 1.56%
  7. Oasis Petroleum Inc (OAS): 1.56%
  8. Continental Resources Inc (CLR): 1.53%
  9. Gulfport Energy Corporation (GPOR): 1.51%
  10. Southwestern Energy Company (SWN): 1.50%

If you liked this article you might like

Charts Signal Buying Opportunity for NVIDIA: Cramer's 'Off the Charts'

Dow, S&P 500 Set New Records as Fed Moves to Unwind Balance Sheet

Stocks In Negative Territory as Chances for December Hike Surge

Energy Stocks Lead a Neutral Market Even After Oil Inventories Spike

Here's Where Wall Street Stands