Consumer spending is still quite low. Consumers are heavily indebted. Unemployment is rising. Thus economic earnings are set to continue to be mediocre. If inflation rises (likely because of dollar weakness and oil speculation), corporate earnings might be even weaker. However oil stocks are usually the last stocks to plunge during an inflation environment. Oil companies may profit if oil prices goes down, but gasoline and distillates don't drop as much (crack spread). So, oil stocks are a safer long-term bet than most other stocks?