This week, oil broke above the key $50 level for the first time since October 2015. Yet rather than interpret the move as a sign to buy, one top technician is warning investors not to chase the rally.
"I think it's all about risk-reward and there's probably no more important chart right now than the oil chart," Chris Verrone, a technician at Strategas Research Partners, told CNBC's "Fast Money" this week.
According to Verrone, it's the steepness of the move that bothers him most. In the past 72 days, oil has moved 20 percent above its 200-day moving average. "It looks excessive to us, we think there's a higher likelihood you come back and retest the 200 near 39, 40 bucks," said Verrone.
Also troubling to Verrone is the fact that while crude has surged to new highs, energy stocks and the Mexican peso — both of which are closely tied to oil — have not made new highs in a month.
Energy names have fallen since peaking on April 27, whereas crude has surged 12 percent. Since peaking back April 29, the peso's gains are still lagging those in oil. They are up 8 percent and 33 percent, respectively, this year.
Indeed, analysts at Bank of America Merrill Lynch warned this week that continued strength in the could trigger a series of knock-on effects that may push crude off its new highs. The bank said a "black swan event" such as Saudi Arabia removing its currency peg could lead to a collapse of to as deep as $25 per barrel, and it expects oil prices to average $46 per barrel this year. On Friday, crude ended the session above $49 per barrel.
"All of that spells to us an environment where the risk-reward doesn't make a lot of sense in chasing oil here near $50," said Verrone.