Want to dip your toes into the oil market? Here’s how to do it

The recent bounce in oil could be creating a rare buying opportunity in a beaten energy name, according to one market watcher.

Crude rallied to its highest level since March 1 on Monday after Bank of America and JPMorgan bumped up their forecasts for oil. According to Max Wolff, chief economist at Disruptive Technology, Exxon Mobil could soon reap the benefits.

"We like the low cost of capital, we think the dividend play is exciting, and it allows people to take a bit of a foot and shove it deeper into water," Wolff said Monday on CNBC's "Power Lunch."

Exxon shares have been on somewhat of a stealth rally of late, surging nearly 10 percent from their August low. The energy giant also sports a dividend yield of 3.7 percent.

Wolff warned investors shouldn't go all-in on the energy space, and crude has seen steep and volatile swings time and time again.

"Make sure that this time, it's for real. There has been a lot of false starts, but still get paid the dividend and still be in somewhat of a defensive name," he said. "We think this is an interesting space, but there's a lot of opacity, a lot of political risk ... it's hard to get super excited about joining the bandwagon now, even though it looks like there's a little further to go."

Boris Schlossberg, managing director of FX strategy at BK Asset Management, is still suspicious of Monday's rally, even if he agrees that a big oil name like Exxon Mobil could be a good play in the near term.

"I'm skeptical about the rally because I think the rally, for the most part, is really due to the weakness in the dollar and the fact that the Saudis have really tried to ramp it above $50 to get [the Saudi Aramco IPO done]," he said.

"I think overall, it's still very much an alternative energy trade in the sense that oil is getting shoved out of the equation more and more as we go forward," added Schlossberg.

The strategist believes that oil could run up to $60, but then investors shouldn't expect the commodity to break through that level. Meanwhile, crude has surged around 5 percent this month.


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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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