Environment

All the top-performing stocks this year are oil and gas except one: solar company Enphase

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The top eight S&P 500 stocks this year are all energy names. But one is unlike the others: Enphase Energy.

The solar-focused company stands out amid the other seven gainers, all of which are oil and gas stocks.

Occidental is the benchmark’s top performer this year, with shares surging 116%. Coterra Energy and Exxon are both up more than 50% on the year.

Then there’s Enphase, which has jumped 47% for 2022. The latest leg higher, which sent the stock to record levels on Thursday, follows Enphase’s second-quarter results.

The company, which provides components for solar systems and backup energy storage, posted record revenue during the second quarter amid strength from Europe.

The stock got an additional boost on Thursday after Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., said they reached a deal on what could become the largest climate package in U.S. history.

Traditional oil and gas companies have been lifted this year by surging commodity prices.

West Texas Intermediate crude, which is the U.S. oil benchmark, has pulled back from its March high. But it remains elevated, trading around $96.75 per barrel on Thursday. For the year, it’s up nearly 30%.

Natural gas has more than doubled since the beginning of the year, surging 118%.

That’s led to strength in oil and gas stocks. Despite calls from lawmakers to open the taps and help ease the inflationary burden of higher energy costs, companies have pledged to keep output steady.

Meanwhile, tech stocks are mostly down for the year, particularly formerly high-flying growth companies with narrow or negative margins. Capital discipline has become the name of the game, with oil and gas companies saying they’re focused on shareholder payouts in the form of buybacks and dividends.

Chevron and Exxon will report quarterly results on Friday before the opening bell.

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