Why I'm not short oil anymore: Dennis Gartman

Gartman: Time to be short oil passed

Dennis Gartman has changed his tune about oil. The noted investor was short the commodity, but is not anymore.

"Is it the bottom? I don't know, but I think the time for being short has probably passed us by," Gartman said in an interview with CNBC's "Closing Bell."

Specifically, it was action in the futures market on Thursday that caused the editor and publisher of "The Gartman Letter" to move to the sidelines. The oil market was collapsing, yet futures for front months fell slightly less than the back months. That's a "very unusual circumstance," he said, because usually when the market collapses, the front months fall more dramatically than the back months.

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"The term structure was not bearish on a decidedly bearish day," he said. "I've been very lucky. It was time to stand aside."

Dennis Gartman
Adam Jeffery | CNBC

Oil futures fell for a seventh week in the longest losing streak since 1986. U.S. light crude settled higher Friday at $75.82, after bouncing from a four-year low earlier in the day.

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Brent hit an intraday low of $76.76 earlier in the session, the lowest since September 2010, before climbing back over $79 in afternoon trading.

Those low prices have been a "godsend" for Americans, and will soon translate into more consumer spending, Gartman said.

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"The American public will respond to the decline in gasoline prices very soon," he noted. "Expect them to their restaurants more often, expect Christmas to be stronger than we thought."

—Reuters contributed to this report.