Energy Stocks Trampled in Broader Market Selloff

A massive selloff sweeping across the market Friday, Feb. 2, made sure to make its way into the energy sector, sending the stocks of oil and gas producers and metals miners down the tubes. 

In the oil and gas space, the two largest U.S. oil companies, Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) and Chevron Corp. (CVX) , both reported fourth-quarter earnings that fell well short of analysts' expectations. The poor results saw Exxon and Chevron claim the spots of biggest losers in the energy space among S&P 500 companies Friday, down about 6% and 5%, respectively. 

To be sure, the poorer-than-expected results from the U.S. largest fossil fuel producers and refiners likely weighed on the stocks of smaller oil and gas producers, such as Hess Corp. (HES) and Devon Energy Corp. (DVN) , and refiners, including Phillips 66 Co. (PSX) and Andeavor (ANDV) , which all saw shares fall 3% or more Friday afternoon. 

Meanwhile, precious metals, aluminum and steel stocks were collectively among the worst performing stocks on the S&P 500. In fact, the only stock performing worse than Exxon on the S&P 500 on Friday was copper and gold miner Freeport-McMoran Inc. (FCX) , with its stock down 6.6% around 3 p.m. 

The broader market selloff is being blamed in part on a notable spike in benchmark U.S. Treasury yields, which took up 10-year notes to  2.85%, a four-year high, putting investors on edge amid signals of faster inflation in the world's largest economies and the impact it will have on growth and interest rates.

Oil prices also may have been playing a factor Friday, with West Texas Intermediate and global benchmark Brent crude futures both losing steam with a struggling dollar. U.S. gold futures also fell more than 1% Friday, while copper prices dipped almost 0.9% by 3 p.m.

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