For many equity markets so far this year, one of the single biggest drivers of performance has been the sharp declines in the price of crude oil as well as the sharp increase in oil volatility. With oil moves in excess of 5% now a regular occurrence, you'd be forgiven for suspecting that nearly every passing dramatic high or low open, for the US Equity market at least, has been dictated by whether or not oil has crashed below or recovered above the now all-important $30 level.
The chart below demonstrates that any such suspicion is entirely well-founded.
The chart shows a clear up-trend in US equity market correlation to WTI crude. A very clear conclusion to draw from this from both a portfolio and a risk management perspective is the that the importance of oil prices as an equity risk factor, at least for now, cannot be understated.
All calculations are as of 2/23/2016, executed on 1-year of daily data.
The results above were calculated using The RiskAPI Add-In, our unique software client which allows fund managers to access a whole spectrum of on-demand portfolio risk analysis calculations.