Believe it or not, crude is just pennies away from being in a bull market. That's because the price of a barrel of crude has rallied almost 20 percent from its March lows. And according to one well-known technician's chart work, the next few sessions could set the stage for a massive rally.
"Oil has been establishing a plateau for the past couple of months," said Louise Yamada, managing director of Louise Yamada Technical Advisors on Thursday's "Futures Now." "This plateau for crude has been testing $54 which represents resistance and $42 as support."
On a long-term chart of crude oil from 1999, Yamada noted that the commodity has stalled out at a critical level. "It's really interesting when you look at the chart and recognize that it stopped right at the 1999 to 2001 uptrend. The same place it stopped in 2008 and 2009," she said. In the two instances Yamada referenced, crude oil bottomed out at the trendline, and subsequently rallied roughly 140 percent in the two years to follow.
"There is a possibility that we can get some sort of a countertrend move."
That move, said Yamada, could bring crude oil to the highest level since December 2014. "If we move through $54 resistance, we could get somewhere around $60-$68 as the next resistance level," she said. The next technical level would be crude's declining 200-day moving average, which comes in just above $70 a barrel.
But Yamada doesn't see the move being swift and fast. "Remember the greater the decline the longer the need for repair," she warned.
However, if the crude rally fails, the fall from the recent highs could be swift, warned Yamada. "If crude oil breaks below [support] at $42, we could see oil hit the 2009 lows of $38."
Long-term, Yamada does see the trend for oil as a sell: "I think that the primary weight or force is probably down, but that doesn't mean we can't get an interim kickback rally or dead-cat bounce."