A gusher of production amid weak global demand mean oil and natural gas prices haven’t gone anywhere in a year, and that’s leaving traditional energy players playing catch up.
The S&P 500 has generated a total return of more than 21% year-to-date, beating the energy sector’s return by 3 percentage points. And some of the biggest names in the sector are faring even worse: Exxon Mobil (XOM) is barely above break-even for the year, and Chevron (CVX) is trailing the broader market by 10 percentage points.
But where the old guard is wheezing, alternative energy stocks have blasted off.
The worst of the solar panel glut is behind the industry, demand is shining bright, and costs are coming down. Perhaps most important, in a big boost for the green-energy industry, the EPA is set to lower carbon emission from coal-based power plants and enforce stricter policies on green-house gas emissions.
With that as the backdrop, here are four alternative energy funds — both actively managed mutual funds and passive exchange-traded funds — that are absolutely crushing the market this year.