Thursday, December 13, 2007

A Closer Look at Energy

With oil recently making news highs -- and the possibility of further highs on the horizon -- it seems appropriate to look at the energy sector to see how the charts look.

First, here's a chart of oil:

Oil has been rallying all year. It came a breath away from hitting $100/bbl within the last month. Notice the clear pattern of higher highs and higher lows.

Let's take a look at various energy sectors. The charts are from Prophet which is a great sight for industry charts.

This is the only "bad" chart in the group. Notice this area has a habit of trading in ranges. It consolidated in 2006, rallied in early 2007 but now appears to be either forming a double top or another trading range.

Major integrated oil (think Exxon) is in the middle of a five year rally with two primary uptrends. However, the spike the index had over the last year may need some time to dissipate before another move up happens.

Pipelines are also in the middle of a five year rally, but they too may be experiencing a double top. However, even if this index pulls back there are two uptrends it can trade to for technical support.

Independent oil and gas is also in the middle of a strong rally, but like the majors it too has had a recent spike. These can be tricky from a trading perspective. While some indexes continue to rally, others stall a bit after a big move up. Considering oil's fundamental move, it seems unlikely we'll see a big drop.

Oil and gas equipment is also in the middle of a long rally. Notice this index consolidated for most of 2006 so a further sideways consolidation wouldn't be out of the question.

Drilling and exploration is also in the middle of a rally. It recently hit a high and is backing off a bit as traders take profits.

Bottom line: the energy sector looks good, with the exception of the refiners. But even they look like a good store of value should the market become volatile.