Stocks may have struggled in the past two weeks, but one top strategist predicts the rally will regain momentum. » Read More
By: Annie Pei
One RBC strategist sees tough times ahead for oil. » Read More
Oil hit its lowest level in nearly a month last week, but one of Wall Street's top commodities analysts says a recovery is on the way in 2016.
On CNBC's "Futures Now", global head of commodities strategy at RBC Capital Markets Helima Croft predicted that oil will rebound following a scheduled meeting between OPEC and non-OPEC members on April 17th in the Qatari capital.
"We spent an entire year with [Saudi Arabia and Russia] saying everything was fine," explained Croft.
"Their decision to come out and even mention a freeze was a catalyst for the rally" that recently pulled crude to within view of $40, Croft said. "As we look towards the April 17 meeting, I don't think Saudi Arabia would even show up in Doha if there wasn't going to be an agreement."
After a wild start to the year, stocks could be poised for big gains heading into the second quarter, according to one well-known strategist.
On CNBC's "Futures Now," Bespoke Investment Group co-founder Paul Hickey said Thursday that seasonally, we are entering a strong period for stocks. "Since 1980, the S&P 500 has averaged a gain of 2.7 percent with positive returns slightly more than 60 percent of the time," he said.
This could come as a relief to investors, as stocks were down more than 10 percent at one point in February, only to climb back to break even on the year. Despite the comeback, investors are still wary of the market as a recent AAII investor sentiment survey showed that sentiment has been steadily declining.
By Hickey's work, it's that very whipsaw action that could set the stage for huge returns through the rest of the year.
"As extraordinary as this move has been, we have seen similar moves in the past," Hickey explained. "We went back and looked at prior years where the S&P 500 saw 10 percent moves to both the upside and downside in the span of the first quarter … the S&P 500 has seen some big gains following similar first quarters of the year," he said.
He noted that the S&P 500 has seen an average gain of 28.3 percent for the remainder of the year with positive returns 75 percent of the time.
Of course, Hickey isn't necessarily calling for a 20 percent rally from current levels — which would theoretically put the S&P 500 at just under 2,500 — but he did say it was reason enough to be optimistic about the markets.
"I wouldn't necessarily use a 20 percent return as my baseline but it shows a positive trend," he said. "I think as long as the Fed maintains their stance I think that stocks can do well for the remainder of the year and the second quarter."
Correction: The story was updated to correct that the Hickey interview was Thursday.
Despite the recent surge, stocks are still roughly 4 percent from their 52-week highs, and that has one technician calling foul on the rally.
"We've gone 10 months on the S&P 500 without making a new high. That's the longest stretch since 2009," MKM Partners' Jonathan Krinsky told CNBC's "Futures Now" on Tuesday.
According to Krinsky, such a length of time with no new high has happened only 11 times in the last 50 years and eight of those times occurred during a bear market. The three others happened during a consolidation phase that resulted in a breakout — the last time being more than 30 years ago, he said.
"This is a very crucial time," said Krinsky, his firm's chief market technician. "If [we] were to get into mid-May without making a new high, it would be rather rare for that to happen and not to be in the confines of a bear market."
Gold is about to surge to multiyear highs, according to one megabull.
On CNBC's "Futures Now" on Tuesday, Orips Research CEO and Chief Market Technician Zev Spiro said that a break above key resistance earlier this month could send bullion catapulting as high as $1,450, a level the market hasn't seen since May 2013.
Gold is up 18 percent in 2016 and is tracking for its best quarter in more than 30 years. A move to $1,450 would represent a 17 percent increase in value from Wednesday's price of $1,233.60.
Considering the major gains seen in the precious metal over the past several months, Spiro maintained that the best is yet to come for the once beaten down commodity. He pointed to movement of gold on a daily basis and highlighted where the price has broken through a negative trend line that has lasted nearly three years.
"Despite the huge rally already seen in gold, the break above the descending channel signaled higher prices with a minimum expected price objective in the $1,450 area," the technician added.
Spiro didn't specify when this level would be reached, but also warned that there could be choppiness ahead of whenever the gain occurs.
"Indicators are generally positive on the daily, weekly and monthly charts. However, current readings are slightly overbought on the weekly chart," said Spiro, who believes that prices are overextended from the major moving averages. "Therefore, a continued consolidation may occur before [we see] higher prices."
Oil has surged since its mid-February low, but one widely followed energy analyst says the rally will be fleeting.
"We're going to have relapses, and it's really going to be difficult to get up above $45," Oil Price Information Service's Tom Kloza said Thursday on CNBC's "Futures Now."
On Friday, WTI futures crossed back above $42 for the first time since early December. But Kloza said investors shouldn't bank on a long-term rally for the commodity anytime soon.
"We may get two weeks where it looks as though we're starting to rebalance — we're not," he said. "I think the second quarter looks still very, very sloppy. We could see prices anywhere from $30 to just short of $45 — I don't think we're going to close above $45."
This week's jump comes after the Federal Reserve diminished rate-hiking expectations, weakening the U.S. dollar and thus improving the prospects for oil, which tends to move inversely to the value of the greenback.
"Cheap money is the steroid right now for crude oil prices," said Kloza.
But when it comes to the traditional fundamental supply-and-demand factors, the outlook for oil is not so bright, he contends.
"There will be global growth and consumption, but just not yet. It's going to take a while to work off this glut."
The global imbalance between supply and demand "took 18-24 months to build it up — it's not going to disappear in 18-24 days," Kloza said.
If you're an investor avoiding the oil space, you could be missing out on the best opportunity in years.
That's what one veteran investment manager is arguing — comparing the oil glut to the opportunity presented to investors during the depths of the housing crisis.
"There is enormous opportunity in the oil area. We are doing a lot of research there. We look at it kind of like housing in 2010," Ross Gerber, CEO of Gerber Kawasaki Wealth and Investment Management , said Tuesday on CNBC's "Futures Now."
In the past six years, the SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF has rallied by more than 100 percent. Gerber believes the oil sector could be positioning itself for similar gains.
"The market has been totally beholden to oil over the last three to six months. ... We're exiting a period where we feared total devastation in the oil patch leading to bankruptcies and defaults," he said, even as volatility continues to grip the area. "It's only the beginning of the fixing of this process."
Crude oil, which has surged by nearly 25 percent in the past eight weeks, has been under pressure again this week due to oversupply concerns. But it's not discouraging Gerber from sticking to his bullish case.
"The supply and demand imbalance still exists currently. But we've seen some supply come off the market, and we've seen an increase in demand, which has created a little more of a perception of stability," he said. "We think oil will probably sit around the $40 to $45 which we're fine with. It's the best benefit to the economy and the oil producers can continue to exist."
CME Group brings buyers and sellers together through its CME Globex electronic trading platform and trading facilities in New York and Chicago.
Take your trading to the next level with a platform that lets you trade stocks, options, futures and forex all in one place with no platform or data with no trade minimums. Open an account with TD Ameritrade and get up to $600 cash.