Markets

Exxon Was Having A Bad Enough Year Without Getting Kicked Out Of The Dow

Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

In what can only be described as a sign of the times, Exxon got the boot from the Dow on Monday, adding insult to injury in a year that’s already been particularly cruel to the company.

Beset by plunging crude prices and generalized doubts about the future of fossil fuels, the shares have declined by nearly 40% in 2020.

Oil demand collapsed in the second quarter as the pandemic brought global trade, travel, and commerce to a halt.

Just prior to the pandemic lockdowns, Riyadh and Moscow engaged in a short-lived (and extremely ill-timed) price war that sent crude spiraling lower some six weeks before the bottom fell out completely on April 20, when WTI briefly became less than worthless.

The disparity between energy and tech this year is quite something to behold. Often, the simplest visuals are the most poignant — the figure (below) is a good example.

“The index changes were prompted by DJIA constituent Apple’s decision to split its stock, which will reduce the index’s weight in the GICS Information Technology sector”, S&P Dow Jones Indices said in a statement.

Exxon rang up a $1.1 billion loss in the second quarter, making what was already unprecedented even more anomalous.

You can take the figure (below) back as far as you want — you will not find a comparable quarter. Exxon reported zero cash from operating activities for the period.

At least Exxon will have company when it slinks out the back door. Pfizer and Raytheon will join the oil giant in bidding the Dow farewell.

On their way to the parking lot, the trio will see Salesforce.com, Amgen, and Honeywell strolling in the front entrance. They’ll enter the index next week.

“The announced changes help offset that reduction [and] help diversify the index by removing overlap between companies of similar scope and adding new types of businesses that better reflect the American economy”, S&P Dow Jones went on to say.

Exxon, apparently, doesn’t “reflect the American economy” so much anymore.

You almost feel sorry for the iconic brand. And then you remember it’s Exxon.


 

6 comments on “Exxon Was Having A Bad Enough Year Without Getting Kicked Out Of The Dow

  1. runamok says:

    Classic…”You almost feel sorry for the iconic brand. And then you remember it’s Exxon.” Yeah, the “Exxon Valdez” (circa 1989 for anyone young who subscribes and bothers to read audience comments).

    For a world so utterly dependent on oil now and into the foreseeable future, like decades into the future, it’s remarkable that Chevron is left as the one petroleum…sorry, “fossil fuel”…company to carry the flame.

    Pfizer would have been one to grab out of the hot ashes on the 31st but not for it being kind of high-flying right now.

    Raytheon could maybe be a grabber if I can find my welder’s mit in time.

  2. derek says:

    Salesforce?

    Why not just replace ’em all with Apple?

  3. George says:

    This market is Teflon !!! I have to determine this is a problem for Psychologists…
    Imagine you lived 150 years ago…your uninsured house was destroyed by fire ,,,cause irrelevant ….Yeah you moved the goalposts wrong but so what the place is gone… So now you have nothing left and move on… You can’t look at yesterday it is gone never to return… So there is only tomorrow and so in the Human psychology the reaction is to go forward …On into the unknown…. Yeah you might dig for Gold or Buy Apple stock but an adventuring spirit is always the driving force,,, Everyone Realizes this economy is toast by standards , long in the past ,
    but so what are supposed to do…. ANSWER….take unacceptable risk for lack of other alternatives…

  4. Joey says:

    Why remove PFE and add Amgen? Difference in market cap? These are both pharmaceutical companies whose stock prices were highly correlated from 2015 through 2019. Years ago Amgen was a “biotech”–that distinction is meaningless now. The difference is tht since 2019 Amgen has gone up in price while PFE has gone sideways. So the Dow index sells its “losers” to chase the hotter stock in the sector? Just another reason to ignore the DJIA–it is a portfolio, not a useful index.

  5. Axiomatic says:

    The Dow Jones index is obsolete. Nobody cares who’s in it.

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