Monday, April 21, 2014

Chart of The Week - June Crude Oil Futures

As the week starts, our attention turns to the June Crude Oil futures (NYMEX:CL.M14.E). After gaining nearly $7/barrel in less than a month, the market has recently consolidated around $103.50/barrel as it begins to decide which direction it will take. It appears that some of the recent slowing of the market is due to profit taking, as the recent sharp up trend may have gained too much too soon.

There are a number of fundamental factors at play in the market, many of which seem to work in contrast with each other: support from Russia-Ukraine uncertainty, resistance from ample supply concerns, and improved demand prospects following solid U.S. Economic data last week. With a number of different fundamental factors in play – and uncertainty over which fundamental factor the market will focus on moving forward – I will focus on the technical aspects of the market for a potential trading opportunity.

Thursday’s range last week was consolidated within the previous day’s range and a move above or below that range should give us good direction to go off of. The market has started off weak this morning, and being close to $105/barrel resistance, I think that a correction off of this recent move is the more likely direction.

In the case of a move below last Thursday’s low print of 102.75, I would be a seller in this market as it will have broken this consolidation. If filled, I would place a protective stop order above Thursday’s high of $103.92. My short term target would be back down to the recent up trend line, rolling stops behind the position accordingly.

To take advantage of this move with a long term viewpoint, I would look to purchase relatively inexpensive call options and option spreads where risk on the position is limited to what you pay for the option.

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