Trading Nation

Charts and fundamentals disagree on oil stocks

Charts and fundamentals disagree on oil stocks
Charts and fundamentals disagree on oil stocks

As the recent energy rally cools off, technical and fundamental traders have very different ideas about what the next move will be.

Oil services stocks have risen nearly 10 percent in the last month, as crude has bounced back 24 percent.

But as the oil services ETF (OIH) fell alongside crude on Tuesday, Cowen's head of equity sales trading, David Seaburg, pronounced the energy bounce over.

"A lot of the rallies we've seen have been predicated by short covering," he said on CNBC's "Power Lunch." "I think the short-cover rally is over. I think you're going to look back and see these stocks at much lower levels going forward."

Further, Seaburg warns that many of the companies in the OIH look vulnerable ahead of earnings.

"There is a lot of small names that make up that ETF that are at massive risk of missing. So I think there is a lot of concerns out there," he said.

But Rich Ross, head of technical analysis at Evercore ISI, has a very different forecast.

"We think the pullback in crude has created a compelling buying opportunity here," he also said on "Power Lunch."

"We know there's going to be volatility in here. It's not all rainbows and unicorns out there. But you have to take advantage of days like today so you don't feel like you're chasing the move."

Because the chart shows him that oil and stocks levered to crude have the wind behind their back, Ross is steadfast.

"Buy the pullback. Upside remains."

But for Seaburg, a bullish call on oil isn't enough to support a constructive thesis on crude stocks.

"I think we agree on the fact that oil has seen a bottom," the trader said. "But I believe these stocks have some near-term risk, from the perspective that I don't think numbers have come down enough."

For the oil stocks in the OIH, "What's the next [positive] catalyst? I don't think there is one," Seaburg said.

Crude oil was falling Wednesday morning, while the oil services ETF was slightly positive.

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