This ETF offers exposure to the exploration and production sub-sector of the domestic energy market, making it a potentially useful tool for those looking to target stocks of companies responsible for discovering and accessing new deposits of oil and gas. XOP is likely too targeted for those with a long-term focus, but can be useful as a tactical overlay or as part of a sector rotation strategy. XOP is unique in that it seeks to replicate an equal-weighted benchmark. As such, the exposure offered by this fund is considerably more balanced than IEO, which includes many of the same stocks but assigns weighting based on market capitalization. It often costs more to pursue an equal-weighted strategy, but that isn't the case here; XOP is also very appealing from a cost perspective, making it the most attractive option for those seeking to bet on this corner of the U.S. energy market.
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