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This seasonal trend could mean trouble for oil

Crude oil settling more than 10 percent higher on Thursday, for a sharp snap back after hitting a six-year low early this week. The rally buoyed energy stocks, which climbed almost 5 percent by the closing bell.

However, one trader says a seasonal trend in energy is indicating that the bottom isn't quite in for oil and energy yet.

Erin Gibbs, chief equity investment officer at S&P Capital IQ, says that historically, bottoms in energy occur around January, which has happened eight out of the past 10 years. That annual dip could set oil prices up to go higher, she said.

"Early next year we could really see a nice pop," Gibbs said Thursday on CNBC's "Trading Nation."


However, Bill Baruch of iiTrader said seasonal trends won't apply to oil in its current environment.

"Some of that seasonality can be in play, but prices are so low at the moment, I think technicals and open interest, that's really going to be a driver," he said.

Baruch said crude oil's rally on Thursday was sparked by prices breaking above a technical level of $40.50, which led traders scrambling to cover their short positions and drove the price higher.

Other factors in oil's rise, Baruch said, are a drop in oil production estimates, positive economic data and a slightly weaker dollar. On Wednesday, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported a decrease in U.S. crude oil refinery inputs last week.

Read MoreWhat West Texas producers are saying about $40 oil

The U.S. dollar fell more than 3 percent last week amid a broad global market selloff. However, the currency is still up 6 percent year to date.

"It hasn't been much of a factor coming off the lows, but it's still been relatively weaker than where it's been," Baruch said.

According to Steven Schork, the "exaggerated" move in crude oil Thursday comes down to a short squeeze and an oversold market. With seasonal demand coming to a close and a continued supply glut, Schork said there were no fundamental reasons driving the rally.

"There were no fundamental headlines to justify a 10 percent rise in oil," Schork said. "The bears got themselves into a big squeeze."

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Sara Eisen

Sara Eisen joined CNBC in December 2013 as a correspondent, focusing on the global consumer. She is co-anchor of the 10AM ET hour of CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" (M-F, 9AM-11AM ET), broadcast from Post 9 at the New York Stock Exchange.

In March 2018, Eisen was named co-anchor of CNBC's "Power Lunch" (M-F, 1PM-3PM ET), which broadcasts from CNBC Global Headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J.

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