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These stocks set to pop the most on oil comeback

How to play an oil snapback

Here's how to get the most bang for your buck if oil embarks on an aggressive rebound from five-year lows after the OPEC nondecision wipeout.

Recent history shows that every time the price of oil spikes more than 9 percent over a 30-trading-day period, oilfield service companies, in particular, have benefited the most.

FMC Technologies had the highest median gain of 6.73 percent, with 72.73 percent of trades positive, according to CNBC analysis using Kensho, a powerful quantitative tool used by hedge funds. Halliburton traded positive with the same frequency, with a slightly lower median return of 6.11 percent.

Marathon Oil had a median gain of 5.84 percent and was up 66.67 percent of the time. National Oilwell Varco had median returns of 5.65 percent and traded in the green 67.86 percent of the time.

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"We believe that OPEC's decision will allow the market to determine the price and will spur increased demand in 2015, which will ultimately lead to price increases during the year," said James West, senior managing director and partner at Evercore ISI, which has a "buy" rating on Halliburton.

Evercore ISI's head of energy research, Doug Terreson, expects Brent crude to average $90 a barrel in 2015, and West Texas Intermediate roughly $5 below that.

Crude oil settled up 4.3 percent at $69 on Monday, its best one-day gain since August 2012. The rally recaptured part of oil's 10.2 percent plunge on Friday after the OPEC meeting.

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Last Thursday, the 12-member oil cartel announced it would hold its output target at 30 million barrels per day, triggering a sharp decline in oil prices. The decision surprised some market professionals, who had forecast that Saudi Arabia would push through a cut.

To be sure, this comeback after the OPEC meeting may not stick. Oil rallied 11 percent following an OPEC meeting in 2008. But the organization cut production then.

4 ways to play the move in oil

Three times before that, OPEC tried to cut production in order to support plummeting prices and the market ignored it, falling more than 10 percent and as much as 33 percent in the month after each of those meetings.

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Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital, was surprised at OPEC's decision and expects the cartel to cut production if oil breaks $50.

At that level, he said even "Saudi Arabia would be vulnerable and would have to change its tone."

Disclosure: CNBC's parent NBCUniversal is a minority investor in Kensho.