Crude oil rebounded from a multimonth low Thursday after the International Energy Agency cut its oil demand forecast for the third month in a row.
"The recent slowdown in demand growth is nothing short of remarkable," the IEA said in its closely watched monthly oil market report. "While demand growth is still expected to gain momentum, the expected pace of recovery is now looking more subdued."
In other words, the world is unexpectedly consuming less oil, and that could have big implications for the global economy.
But should investors worry?
"Oil's price action Thursday is quite encouraging considering that the commodity hit a new low in early trading," said Riskreversal.com's Enis Taner. "However, in the long run, the price weakness in the face of geopolitical issues in the Middle East and Russia is evidence of lackluster demand overall."
Chad Morganlander, portfolio manager at Stifel's Washington Crossing Advisors, agreed that oil will continue to trend downward, citing the mixture of poor economic outlook and a strong dollar. But for Morganlander, the crude collapse is sending a rather ominous warning to the world. "There is a deceleration of growth going on overseas as well as in emerging markets," he said. "We continue to see this deceleration going into 2015."
Morganlander forecast 3 percent global growth for the second half, and 2.75 percent for 2015.
As far as the oil charts, Todd Gordon of TradingAnalysis.com said the correlation between the price of oil and the state of the economy no longer holds true.
Overlying a chart of the S&P 500, energy stocks and crude oil, Gordon pointed out that the three had moved in tandem until summer of 2013. "All of a sudden crude moved lower, while the SPY [the S&P 500 ETF] and the XLE [the energy ETF] continued to move higher. This means crude is declining for its own internal fundamentals, while the broader economy pushes forward."
Both Taner and Gordon pointed out the $89-per-barrel range as an important area of long-term support for crude.