Energy stocks are on their longest winning streak in 12 years, and there's more room to run

The XLE energy ETF just posted its 10th straight day of gains, its longest daily winning streak since 2006. Some see even more room to run.

"We're high conviction overweight," Mark Tepper, president and founder of Strategic Wealth Partners, told CNBC's "Trading Nation" on Thursday. "You look at these escalating geopolitical risks with Iran and that could lead to oil supply issues down the road, so that's obviously going to add a premium to prices."

Oil prices have been on a tear over the past month as the possibility rose of sanctions against Iran. President Donald Trump announced last week that he was withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal and that he would restore sanctions against the Middle Eastern country. As of Thursday, West Texas Intermediate crude had risen 2 percent since then.

"Look at the difference between oil price appreciation versus the XLE price appreciation," said Tepper. "Oil is up 40 to 50 percent year over year and it's up over 20 percent year to date and we do see an additional 10 to 15 percent upside before the end of the year. Energy stocks haven't done quite as well. The XLE is up 9 percent this year and it's up 17 percent year over year."

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Brent crude oil traded above $80 a barrel on Thursday for the first time since November 2014. WTI ended at $71.49 a barrel, levels not seen in more than three years. Friday morning, Brent was at $79.62 and WTI was $71.56. The energy sector is the second-best performer on the S&P 500 this year.

Another long-time energy bull is beginning to lighten his exposure to the sector as investors pile into the space.

"We've been pounding the table on the XLE and the energy space," Larry McDonald, editor of the Bear Traps Report, said on Thursday's "Trading Nation." "The awareness level of the bull case is very, very well known right now. Extreme overbought conditions … so we've been selling shares this week and we're lightening up on your energy position."

The XLE's relative strength index has spiked to above 80, suggesting overbought conditions. A reading above 70 typically separates normal from overbought levels. The XOP S&P oil and gas exploration and production ETF has an RSI of 78.



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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 CNBC and 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.

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