Hart Energy hosted its Energy Capital Conference on March 2 amid much sober sentiment after the steepest one-day stock market drop since 2008 and a 16% plunge in WTI crude the prior week. However, the one-day conference saw a robust rebound: the Dow Jones index up over 1,200 points, a gain of over 5%, and crude up almost $2 to $46.75/bbl.

The saying is, “You take what market gives you.” But energy came up empty, and far worse days lay ahead.

The E&P sector failed to participate on the day of the conference, with the S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF (XOP) trading flat on the day and drifting down around 3.5% over the next two days. Even those short energy stocks apparently felt little urgency to cover. After all, who wanted to wager ahead of an OPEC meeting where Russia seemed to be dragging its feet in support of a key Saudi proposal?

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