This is the new normal for oil: Gartman

As oil continues to sit near multiyear lows, widely followed investor Dennis Gartman says this is just the beginning of a long-term sideways trade in the commodity.

"In the end the question will be, will crude be able to go below $35 per barrel? I think not. I think at this point crude oil would like to go sideways and I think the economy will do better if crude oil gets very quiet," the editor and publisher of The Gartman Letter told the "Fast Money" traders Monday. "Consistency of price is probably the best thing that we could have happen to the economy."

The long-term oil bear explained that while crude has fallen 35 percent in the last six months, he believes the time for being short oil is behind him.

"I think crude could be $3 on either side of $37 for a long period of time going forward — and that will be beneficial to stocks over the long run," Gartman said.

Crude oil production
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Crude is now trading near its Aug. 24 low of around $37.75; sticking between $34 and $41 since the beginning of December.

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If crude continues to trade in this tight range, Gartman said he believes confidence in the economy will rise, consumer spending will increase and the Fed's need to tighten will decrease — all benefiting the market long term.

"Stability is the best thing that you can get for any economy," he said. "I think too many people are focusing far too much on what crude is doing and predicating their stock trades on crude going down or crude going up. Better to leave crude alone."

Gartman predicts that oil will continue to trade in a tight range, likely between $37 and $40, with the odds of it crossing $45 at zero. 