Clayton Williams Energy Shares Jumped: 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: As oil prices took off earlier today, shares of Clayton Williams Energy (NAS: CWEI) surged more than 10% in early trading on above average volume. The stock closed up 9% as crude prices ended above $100 per barrel for the first time in two weeks, The Associated Press reported.

So what: Oil rose $0.57 on the day to close at $100.36 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. In London, Brent crude rose $0.12 to $109.98 a barrel. The higher prices could mean more profits for Gulf-area explorers such as Clayton Williams. Related winners included Chesapeake Energy (NYS: CHK) and Sand Ridge Energy (NYS: SD) . Both stocks closed up more than 6% on the day.

Now what: Analysts have been predicting higher crude prices heading into 2012. Goldman Sachs (NYS: GS) , meanwhile, is advising clients to bet on July 2012 Brent crude futures on the theory that a "tight physical market" resembling that of late 2007 could set the stage for a surge in oil prices. Do you agree? Would you buy shares of Clayton Williams Energy at current prices? Please weigh in using the comments box below.

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At the time thisarticle was published Fool contributorTim Beyersis a member of theMotley Fool Rule Breakersstock-picking team. He didn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article at the time of publication. Check out Tim'sportfolio holdingsandFoolish writings, or connect with him onGoogle+or Twitter, where he goes by@milehighfool. You can also get his insightsdelivered directly to your RSS reader.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended buying shares of Chesapeake Energy and Goldman Sachs. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy.

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