Why this could be a sweet Friday for crude oil

Following a mild Thursday for markets in which crude oil managed to move slightly higher, here's what iiTrader chief market strategist Bill Baruch will be watching for on Friday.

1. Oil bottom?

Crude oil rose moderately on Thursday, following a Wednesday in which the commodity bottomed just above $42 per barrel, a nearly one-year low.

In the short term, Baruch sees reason for the bounce to continue.

"Crude oil has bottomed early in Friday's session, [and] finished green on Friday, for eight straight weeks," he pointed out Thursday on CNBC's "Trading Nation."

Further, "sentiment is a little too bearish ahead of the weekend," Baruch added.

One potential bullish driver for crude, in the trader's view, is Tropical Storm Cindy, which has already caused flooding in the U.S. southeast and cut into Gulf of Mexico production.

If the storm further tamps down on production, that could send oil prices marginally higher.

2. Global PMI data

Another thing that Baruch will be watching is economic data, in the form of purchasing manager's index data for both the United States and Europe.

"Friday is the fullest day of economic data this week," he pointed out. U.S. PMI data, provided by Markit, is set to be released at 9:45 a.m. E.T. on Friday.

3. Fed heads speak

Investors ought to get some more insight on the Fed Friday, as St. Louis Fed President James Bullard, Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester, and Fed governor Jerome Powell are set to speak.

Of the three, only Powell is a voting member of the Federal Open Markets Committee. Still, they may collectively shed some light on the Fed's future rate-hiking plans.

"Currency traders, take note," Baruch advised.


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Trading Nation is a multimedia financial news program that shows investors and traders how to use the news of the day to their advantage. This is where experts from across the financial world – including macro strategists, technical analysts, stock-pickers, and traders who specialize in options, currencies, and fixed income – come together to find the best ways to capitalize on recent developments in the market. Trading Nation: Where headlines become opportunities.

Michael Santoli

Michael Santoli joined CNBC in October 2015 as a Senior Markets Commentator, based at the network's Global Headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J.  Santoli brings his extensive markets expertise to CNBC's Business Day programming, with a regular appearance on CNBC's “Closing Bell (M-F, 3PM-5PM ET).   In addition, he contributes to CNBCand CNBC PRO, writing regular articles and creating original digital videos.

Previously, Santoli was a Senior Columnist at Yahoo Finance, where he wrote analysis and commentary on the stock market, corporate news and the economy. He also appeared on Yahoo Finance video programs, where he offered insights on the most important business stories of the day, and was a regular contributor to CNBC and other networks.

Follow Michael Santoli on Twitter @michaelsantoli

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