Crude oil was extremely volatile last week, with big moves both to the upside and the downside, but one pattern did emerge. The range it has traded in has held over the last few weeks. Crude oil has been a sell in the $96.50 to $97 areas, and a buy between $93 and $92.
But let's take a closer look. I would like to buy dips in crude this week for two reasons.
First, as we head toward Memorial Day weekend, demand for products picks up. This applies to gasoline to be sure, but in addition, demand for ultralow sulfur diesel (the former heating oil contract) has been strong, so that alone should keep crude supported for this week.
Second, there are rumblings on the geopolitical front. Syria is still out of control, Iran nuclear talks are going nowhere, and over the weekend, North Korea launched short-range missiles.
Because of these overhanging geopolitical factors, if you are shorting crude, you have to place stops. Indeed, if something breaks out, crude could instantly pop $20. That has always been the interesting dynamic of crude: Any news about it usually means it will spike higher.
Only economic weakness sends it lower. And for now, the U.S. seems stronger, and demand worldwide has been growing.
So where would I buy in to this market?
The support areas at which I would look to buy are $95 to $94.50,and then $94 to $93.50. I would sell cautiously between $96.50 and $97.50, with a tight stop above $97.50. But I would rather trade it from the long side right now.