Crude prices continued falling apart this week, slipping to a 10-month low of around $42 per barrel on continued oversupply concerns. That sell-off pushed oil deeper into bear market territory after it declined more than 20% over the past several weeks. Unsurprisingly, oil stocks traded lower this week.
That said, news about mergers and acquisitions (M&A) overshadowed the drop in the oil market for some stocks. Natural gas driller Rice Energy (NYSE: RICE), for example, surged more than 28% after agreeing to merge with EQT Corp. (NYSE: EQT) in a deal that will create the largest gas producer in the country. Meanwhile, troubled oil-field service companies Basic Energy Services (NYSE: BAS) and Key Energy Services (NYSE: KEG) moved double digits on rumors that they’re discussing a merger.