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Read This Before You Buy Oil Stocks

By Jeff Clark
Tuesday, February 5, 2013

"You have to buy the oil stocks," a so-called "expert" proclaimed on CNBC yesterday.
 
"They're under-owned, and the price of crude oil is running higher."
 
Oil stocks have indeed enjoyed a tremendous rally over the past few weeks. The Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLE) is up more than 10% since the start of 2013. And the fund is just pennies away from making a new multi-year high.
 
So a lot of folks, including the CNBC expert, are excited about buying oil stocks right now. Of course, this means that a lot of folks, including this expert, have forgotten the simplest rule of how to make money in the stock market...
 
The simplest rule you need to know about making money in the market is to buy low and sell high.
 
Oil stocks are "high" right now, and it's a dangerous time to be jumping into the sector. That doesn't mean the sector can't move higher from here. But there's an awful lot of risk to buying oil stocks at multi-year highs. And if history is any sort of a guide, patient investors will get a much better buying opportunity a few months from now.
 
Let me explain...
 
One of the best timing tools for getting in or out of the oil sector is the Energy Sector Bullish Percent Index (BPENER). This is a momentum-based indicator that lets us know when the oil sector is overbought and ripe for a correction – or oversold and a good time to buy.
 
Take a look at this chart of the BPENER...
 
 Energy Sector Bullish Percent Index ($BPENER) One-Year Chart
 
As a general rule, oil stocks are overbought when the index rallies above 80 (the red circles on the chart). Oil stocks are oversold when the BPENER drops below 20 (the blue circles). Here's how those overbought and oversold signals have lined up with the XLE...
 
 Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLE) One-Year Chart
 
The BPENER signals didn't always match the exact highs and lows for the oil sector. But each blue circle was always followed eventually by a higher red circle. And each red circle was followed by a lower blue circle... so far.
 
As you can see on the XLE chart, this year's action is looking a lot like what we saw last year. If that continues to be the case, anyone looking to buy into the oil sector will do better if they wait a few months. Give the BPENER chart a chance to unwind from its current overbought condition... and maybe even drop into oversold territory.
 
That will give us a low-risk chance to buy into the oil sector.
 
Best regards and good trading,
 
Jeff Clark




Further Reading:

Find more simple rules to making – and preserving – money in the markets here...
 
"There's only one indicator I know that has a perfect track record," Jeff says. When it sounds a sell signal, it's time to get out of the market... and preserve your gains.
 
"Of the hundreds of wealth-building strategies I have tried over the years, the best one was also the simplest," self-made millionaire Mark Ford says. "By following this simple rule, I was able to do better than I ever expected... without a single day of feeling poorer than I was the day before."

In The Daily Crux
Market Notes
Natural gas infrastructure "bellwether" Chicago Bridge & Iron breaks out to a new five-year high.  
 
Transportation giant FedEx soars to a fresh multiyear high... up 22% from early-October lows.
 
Big Brazilian stock fund EWZ sinks 15% over the past 12 months... meanwhile, most international funds are in positive territory.
 
Coffee prices are down 33% in the past 12 months.
Market Watch
Symbol Price
Change
52-Wk
S&P 500 1523.48 +0.1% +13.4%
Oil (USO) 34.62 -1.8% -11.6%
Gold (GLD) 155.70 -1.7% -7.4%
Silver (SLV) 28.91 -1.9% -10.9%
U.S. Dollar 80.53 +0.2% +1.1%
Euro 1.33 -0.4% +1.8%
Volatility (^VIX) 12.45 -1.7% -41.1%
Gold Stocks (^HUI) 382.53 -2.8% -25.5%
10-Year Yield 2.01 +0.5% +4.2%

World ETFs
Symbol Price
Change
52-Wk
USA (SPY) 152.39 +0.1% +15.8%
Singapore (EWS) 13.83 -0.4% +13.3%
Israel (ISL) 14.20 +1.1% +10.5%
Canada (EWC) 28.66 -0.8% +4.3%
Taiwan (EWT) 13.71 +0.2% +4.5%
S. Korea (EWY) 61.05 +0.1% +4.3%
China (FXI) 40.42 +0.5% +4.3%
S. Africa (EZA) 67.93 -0.8% +4.4%
Japan (EWJ) 9.93 -0.1% +2.8%
India (IFN) 21.49 -0.2% +1.9%
Russia (TRF) 15.63 +0.1% -2.9%
Lat.America (ILF) 44.46 +0.1% -3.6%

Sector ETFs
Symbol Price
Change
52-Wk
Construction (PKB) 19.34 +0.4% +41.9%
Media (PBS) 18.19 +0.6% +26.6%
Financials (IYF) 66.21 +0.0% +24.5%
Consumer Svcs (IYC) 93.32 -0.1% +23.4%
Insurance (PIC) 19.36 -0.5% +22.3%
Health Care (IYH) 90.74 +0.2% +22.8%
Water (PHO) 22.51 0.0% +20.5%
Real Estate (IYR) 67.95 -0.3% +16.6%
Industrials (IYJ) 79.85 +0.1% +16.9%
Transportation (IYT) 106.12 +0.4% +16.2%
Telecom (IYZ) 24.26 +0.3% +13.1%
Retail (PMR) 26.51 +0.5% +13.6%
Defense (PPA) 21.78 +0.1% +11.3%
Software (PSJ) 29.00 +0.5% +12.1%
Biotech (PBE) 24.87 -0.2% +10.1%
Big Tech (QQQQ) 68.01 +0.1% +9.7%
Utilities (XLU) 36.68 +0.1% +9.0%
Basic Mat (IYM) 72.04 +0.1% +3.6%
Semis (PSI) 15.52 +0.1% -1.2%
Nanotech (PXN) 6.45 -0.2% -1.1%
Alt. Energy (PBW) 4.73 -0.2% -17.8%

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