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Expect more wild swings for crude oil: Technician

It's been a wild ride for crude oil prices.

Since hitting a low of $37.75 on Aug. 24, crude oil has rallied 21 percent. But that hasn't come in one slick move, in fact over the past eight trading sessions the commodity has seen an average intraday swing of more than 5 percent in either direction. And according to one technician's chart work, the roller coaster saga will continue for crude over the next several weeks.

"If you think the volatility in stocks has been bad, just take a look at crude oil," Rich Ross said Wednesday on CNBC's "Trading Nation." Crude oil prices are down more than 19 percent on the year, peaking just above $60 in early May and bottoming out around $37 in late August.


Looking at a year-to-date chart, Ross noted the recent surge and decline off the low, a pattern similar to moves seen in late January and March. "We saw a 25 percent move back in March off the low, and ultimately that produced a very nice rally," added the head of technical analysis at Evercore ISI. "However, earlier this year we also had a 25 percent move from the low and that failed miserably."

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To gain a little more perspective on where crude could go next, Ross paid close attention to the commodity's key moving averages. "The 50-day moving average is acting as resistance," he said. For Ross, crude oil has "a real shot" at hitting that moving average, which comes in around $48 a barrel, and if it breaks above it, could test the longer-term 200-day just around $53. That's a respective 5 percent and 16 percent move from the current price of $46.

"Keep in mind, the trend for crude oil is still down," Ross continued. "But in the short-term there's still some room to test the 50-day and challenge the 200-day up around $53."

Crude oil posted a late day rally Wednesday, surging two percent into its close and settling around $46.

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Brian Sullivan is co-anchor of CNBC's "Power Lunch" (M-F,1PM-3PM ET), one of the network's longest running programs, as well as the host of the daily investing program "Trading Nation." He is also a frequent guest on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" and other NBC properties.

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