Independent Oil and Gas Stocks Plunged: What You Need to Know


Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of independent oil and gas companies ATP Oil & Gas (NAS: ATPG) , Petroleum Development (NAS: PETD) , and Stone Energy (NYS: SGY) all fell 10% today driven by the price of oil.

So what: Oil was down as much as 4.3% in early trading to $89.17, and the downfall of oil and gas stocks began. Each of these companies started the day trading significantly lower and each has recovered some of the losses throughout the day, paralleling oil's slight rise.

Now what: It's been a volatile couple of months for oil and gas stocks as the price of oil has fluctuated wildly on an almost daily basis. I don't expect that trend to stop as Europe's problems wreak havoc on the market and energy investors fret about the demand for energy if Europe's debt problems get worse. If you're jumping in for the long haul these stocks may be looking attractive, but trying to time moves on a daily basis right now is truly a fool's errand.

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At the time thisarticle was published Fool contributor Travis Hoium does not have a position in any company mentioned. You can follow Travis on Twitter at @FlushDrawFool, check out his personal stock holdings or follow his CAPS picks at TMFFlushDraw.Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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