Jim Cramer considers the oil and gas complex to be a vicious open wound in this market, with horrendous declines in oil and gas prices that have caused immense carnage to all things related to energy.
Everything ranging from hideous driller to solid pipeline plays has been punished, even if they have little direct exposure to the price of black gold.
That is why the "Mad Money" host decided to take a closer look at what the charts say are in store for the oil patch, particularly the largest oil company on Earth, Exxon Mobil. Cramer turned to Robert Moreno, a chartist and colleague of Cramer's at RealMoney.com, and the publisher of RightViewTrading.com.
Moreno thinks that with the strength of its balance sheet, the Exxon punishment could be over.
"In other words, the open wound that is the oil patch might finally be clotting, something that should have a stabilizing effect on the broader market," Cramer said. (Tweet this)
The open wound that is the oil patch might finally be clotting, something that should have a stabilizing effect on the broader marketJim Cramer
Looking at the daily chart of Exxon versus the , the action displayed told Moreno the story of just how important the energy group is. Exxon has clearly led the market down this year, with the oil giant underperforming the S&P by approximately 12 percent for the year.
However, for the last month Moreno has noticed a change in pattern. Lately Exxon has been consolidating, building a base as it trades sideways and refuses to go lower. Moreno thinks this could be a change in the short-term trend, and if it holds it could stabilize the entire stock market.
Another technical force that Moreno considers to be important was the Moving Average convergence divergence line (MACD). This is an important momentum indicator that chartists use to predict changes in a stock's trajectory.
Moreno found that at the end of August, the MACD made a bullish crossover, which is a signal that the stock could be done going down. Additionally, the indicator has been steadily trending higher, even though the stock has moved sideways. This suggested to Moreno that Exxon's stock could be ready to start climbing, too.
Finally there was the Chaikin Money Flow oscillator on the Exxon chart that really had Moreno salivating. The Chaikin Money flow is a tool to measure the 21-day accumulation/distribution line. Meaning, it measures the level of buying or selling pressure for a stock. It can be used to figure out what the big institutional money managers are doing, because their huge buy and sell orders can leave a footprint on the chart.
When it came to Exxon, the Chaikin Money flow has been trending higher for a month, but then crossed below its center line into positive territory. That is reflective of buying interest in Exxon at these levels.
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"That's right, not only has Exxon stopped going down, but there are some powerful investors out there who feel like loading up on the stock," Cramer said.
Ultimately the technical signals could be suggesting to Moreno that Exxon Mobil is ready for a bounce, at least in the short-term.
So if the biggest player in the oil patch can start to recover, that could be a good sign for the broader stock market as represented by the S&P 500.
"I will say this, Exxon's a leader. If it is bottoming, it could take the whole group, except those hobbled by debt, a lot higher," Cramer said.
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