Crude Oil Forecast: WTI Poised to Challenge Key Technical Support

By Dean Rogers

China’s stock market plunge wreaked havoc on stock and commodity prices around the world last week. Fears of a further slowing economy in the world’s largest energy consumer along with weak manufacturing demand and the deepening global supply glut have recast a negative outlook on oil prices. The negative sentiment has been reflected in the technicals too as prices continue to fall.

February WTI fell to $30.88 on Monday and came close to meeting a crucial confluence point at $30.6. This is near the 0.618 projection of the wave $38.39 – 32.1 – 34.34, and is the last support protecting against a decline into the $20s. A close below $30.6 would call for at least $29.0 and likely $28.1. The latter is the 1.00 projection for the wave down from $38.39.

CLG6 20160111

The KasePO PeakOut (green P) indicates Monday’s $32.2 midpoint might be tested early Tuesday, but we expect this level to hold. Other than the intraday PeakOut there is little to no technical evidence that the decline is going to stall. Therefore, without some type of unexpected shift in the underlying fundamentals and/or technicals we expect to see prices fall into the $20s soon.

This is a brief analysis and outlook for the next day or so. Our weekly Crude Oil Commentary is a much more detailed and thorough energy price forecast. If you are interested in learning more, please sign up for a complimentary four-week trial.

By Dean Rogers

As discussed last week, everyone is looking for the natural gas bottom. I am sure no one wants me to step back onto my “picking bottoms is a dangerous game” soap box, so I will just reiterate that the best anyone can do is identify potential turning points and look to time entries and exits that fit their trading style, risk appetite, and goals.

With that in mind, let’s discuss the potential turning points for natural gas at today’s $2.263 swing low and at $2.11, the latter of which I think is the most likely point for a bottom to be made.

December’s wave structure down from $3.391 has unfolded in a five-wave pattern. We are not Elliott Wave fanatics or strict practitioners, but when a textbook pattern forms we pay attention.

Below are some of the basic Elliott Wave rules we abide by and look for when a five-wave pattern forms.

Basic Elliot Wave Rules, according to Kase:

  • A five-wave pattern is made up of three impulse waves and two corrective waves
  • Two of the three impulse waves should be equal in size
  • The impulse waves, labeled I, III, and V, should break down into five sub-waves.
  • Wave III cannot be the smallest impulse wave
  • Waves I, III, and IV should be proportional to one another (0.618, 1.00, 1.382, 1.618, etc.)

For the five-wave pattern down from $3.391 wave I met its 1.618 projection at $2.607 (end of wave III) and trend terminus (2.9693/3.3912) at $2.263 (potential end of wave V). The lowest that wave I projects is $2.12 as the 2.764 extension.

NGZ5 20151028

Given the importance of $2.263, the ticks up after the close, and oversold conditions on the KasePO, KaseCD, and slow stochastic, prices might turn higher from this level.

However, at this point there are not two equal waves. At $2.36 waves I and V were equal, but prices fell to $2.263. At $2.10 waves III and V will be equal. Therefore, based upon the basic Elliott Wave Rules, December will likely fall to the confluence point of $2.11 where wave I will have met its 2.764 projection and waves III and V will be equal.

From $2.11 we would expect to see a three-wave correction, and because of the time of year, a significant rally as the market heads into the winter heating season. A sustainable rally will be confirmed by a KasePO PeakOut, KaseCD KCDpeak, and %K over %D crossover as momentum rises out of oversold territory on the slow stochastic.

There are no guarantees that $2.11 will hold over the course of the longer-term, but this has become the most likely point at which a bottom will be made.

This is a brief natural gas forecast ahead of tomorrow’s EIA report. Our weekly Natural Gas Commentary is a much more detailed and thorough analysis. If you are interested in learning more, please sign up for a complimentary four week trial.

After the 4th of July weekend the energy markets, unlike the weather across most of the U.S., heated up. The lack of warm summer weather in key areas of the county has given way to lower prices for natural gas. August natural gas futures finally closed below $2.73 on Tuesday and Wednesday. The move has been quiet relative to the noise being made by crude oil, but the break lower indicates prices should continue to decline. That said, the bullish KaseCD divergence and KasePO PeakOut (oversold signal) on the $0.035 Kase Bar chart indicate the decline will be a grind.

natural gas prices

The wave $2.977 – 2.733 – 2.885 took out its 0.618 projection at $2.73, therefore odds favor at least $2.64, its 1.00 projection. This is a highly confluent and important target that protects the $2.588 swing low. We expect to see a bounce from $2.64 given its importance. A close below $2.64 would call for $2.55 and $2.50.

The 38 percent retracement from $2.885 to $2.676 is $2.76. Key near-term resistance is $2.81, the 62 percent retracement. Both levels are in line with the two previous intraday swing highs of $2.756 and $2.80. A close over $2.81 is unlikely unless tomorrow’s Energy Information Agency (EIA) report is extremely bullish.

This is a brief natural gas forecast ahead of tomorrow’s EIA report. Our weekly Natural Gas Commentary is a much more detailed and thorough analysis. If you are interested in learning more, please sign up for a complimentary four week trial.

Kase’s senior analyst Dean Rogers reviews trade setups and price forecasts for e-mini S&P 500, crude oil, natural gas, AAPL, and VIPS using Kase Outlook, Kase StatWare, and KaseX.

On Oct. 30, a colleague called frantically about 10-year German government bonds taking a major reversal after weak German business confidence data had been released. He was having difficulty gauging the importance of the news, and hoped that technicals would put the talking-head chatter into perspective, something fundamentals alone couldn’t do.

I plotted a daily candlestick chart with the RSI, MACD and Stochastic. GDBR10 had been in a downward oscillating trend for decades, interrupted by prolonged corrections, the latest of which ended in mid-January. The recent run up lasted eight days, so just from a duration standpoint, it wasn’t much of a recovery. Days six and seven formed a bearish Harami line and star. Oct. 27 closed below the midpoint of the Oct. 23 Harami line, indicating that the pattern was complete. So, even without indicators the candles showed a clear bearish pattern.

Candlesticks Showed Bearish Signal Before Other Indicators

However, none of the indicators were either divergent or overbought. This is a key fault of these indicators in that they are “unidirectional” — when they trigger the follow through is good, but they often lack signals ahead of turns.

These common indicators were originally for calculators, not computers. The solution is to use new approaches which employ computationally intense algorithms to optimize for serial dependency, cycle length, and scale for logarithmic volatility. This results in bi-directional indicators and statistically significant stops, such as the KaseCD and Kase DevStops.

The KaseCD goes magenta when it’s overbought or oversold, as on Oct. 27, warning of a possible turn. Anyone long the eight day rally should have become increasingly cautious, especially as the following days were sideways. This would have meant scaling back a long position, or perhaps selling covered calls.

KaseCD Turned Magenta to Signal Overbought Level

Earlier signals missed on the first chart were caught as well. Oct. 16’s turn was clearly signaled by a KCD momentum divergence, as marked by the automatically generated red divergence lines. The mid-September decline was signaled by the KCD overbought “K.”

Cynthia Kase, President
Kase and Company, Inc.

For a no-charge trial of Kase StatWare on Bloomberg visit APPS CS:KASE, which includes the KaseCD and Kase DevStops, contact us if you have any questions.

On October 1, 2014, Kase commented on a tweet, and posted the weekly chart shown below, regarding the decline of Hertz (HTZ). In that tweet, we stated that the decline from $31.61 was likely a corrective Wave IV of a long-term bullish five-wave formation. A week later, on October 8, we discussed the trade setup during our weekly chat session (minutes 16:50 – 21:00). At that point, the 38 percent retracement at $22.47 had been taken out, but we stated that for the five-wave formation to remain intact, the top of Wave I ($17.64), which was in line with the 62 percent retracement at $16.84, would need to hold. We also commented that we were watching the daily chart for bullish signals such as completed momentum divergences and oversold signals that would tell us the move down was possibly complete.

Figure 1 – HTZ Weekly as of October 1, 2014
HTZ Weekly 20141001

Fast-forward a few weeks later, and the next chart below shows that the move down stalled at $18.50 on October 15. The $18.50 swing low held the 62 percent retracement and top of Wave I as called for. A recovery has begun to take place, indicating Wave IV is likely complete and Wave V is underway. In addition, Wave IV ended up being a simple correction versus the Wave II correction. If you look closely at the details of Wave II you will see that it broke down into a complex five-wave, or nested three-wave correction. This is called the “rule of alternation”, which indicates one of the corrections will be complex and the other simple when a five-wave pattern is forming.

Figure 2 – HTZ Weekly as of October 28, 2014
HTZ Weekly 20141028

Table 1

Wave III met the intermediate (I, or 1.382) projection of Wave I, $1.55 – 17.64 – 7.80. This formation now has the potential to extend to $33.5 over the course of the longer-term (a few months or more). This is because Wave I projects to $33.5 as the larger than target (L, or 1.618). This is also the smaller than (S, or 0.618) projection for Wave III, $7.80 – 31.61 – 18.5. Most importantly, for this to be a textbook five-wave formation, at least two waves have to be equal. Rising to $33.5 would make Waves I and V nearly equal in size (Wave I = 17.64 – 1.55 = 16.09, Wave V = 33.5 – 18.5 = 15.0). If Waves III and V end up being equal, the move up would extend to $42.3. So over the course of the longer-term, as the probable Wave V extends, we now know that the potential for this move is $33.5 and possibly $42.3.

As we had discussed in our weekly chat session on October 8, once Wave IV was complete, we wanted to drop down to time a long entry on the daily chart. However, we needed to see evidence on the daily chart that the move down was likely complete. When dropping to the daily chart shown below, as of October 28, we can see that a bullish KaseCD divergence (red line) and KasePO PeakOut (green P) were confirmed at the $18.50 swing low, and that two subsequent buy signals (green and blue L) triggered. These are signals from our Kase StatWare indicator package and show that a trader may have established a long trade on the daily chart upon the second L (marked by the blue arrow) on October 20 at approximately $21.39. A stop would be placed at $19.07, which is DevStop3, or approximately 3.6 standard deviations of average True Range (ATR).

Figure 3 – HTZ Daily with Kase StatWare as of October 28, 2014
HTZ Daily 20141028

Traders holding this long position would now monitor the daily chart for exit and warning signals. One such warning signal was triggered by the gray K, which is a weak KCDpeak. Traders may have pulled stops into DevStop2 (second blue dot), and once the accompanying $22.60 swing high is overcome, the stop will be widened back to Dev3 (third, and largest, blue dot).

In addition to monitoring the daily chart, traders could also watch for a confirmed buy signal (L) on the weekly chart. This has not triggered yet, but once a buy signal forms on the weekly chart, a trader could scale the daily trade to the weekly chart, widen stops to DevStop3 on the weekly chart, and then monitor the weekly chart for exit and warning signals. The long signal on the weekly chart will warrant the added risk of holding a trade with wider stops on the weekly chart. This ‘scale up’ technique is useful for holding positions over longer periods of time and avoiding whipsaws. This technique also limits initial trade risk because the standard deviations of ATR (method used for Kase’s DevStops) on the daily chart are smaller than standard deviations of ATR on the weekly chart. Therefore, if the trade does not play out as expected, a trader can get out of the trade sooner on the daily chart, limit losses or preserve any gains, and live to trade another day.

At this point, we can also analyze the recent move up from $18.50 and look for important near-term resistance. When forecasting, we primarily rely upon confluence of Fibonacci wave projections and retracements. For instance, the smaller than (S or 0.618) projection for Wave 1/V, $18.5 – 22.6 – 20.77, shown in the chart and table below, is $23.5. This is confluent with the 38 percent retracement from $31.61 to $18.5 (magenta line). This then connects to $24.7 as the equal to (E, or 1.00) projection, which is near the 50 percent retracement. The intermediate target (I, or 1.382), is $26.6. This is also the crucial 62 percent retracement. Therefore, the wave projections for Wave 1/V, and the retracements of the decline from $31.61 to $18.5, show a cascade of targets that connect to one another.

Figure 4 – HTZ Daily with Retracements as of October 28, 2014
HTZ Daily Retracements 20141028

Table 2

What this indicates, is that $23.5 is an important near term resistance level. Currently, the move up from $18.5 is corrective of the move down from $31.61. Generally, a normal, profit taking correction, will hold the 38 percent retracement. However, because this is also the smaller than target, our studies show that meeting $23.5 will open the way for an extension to at least $24.7, the equal to target. A close over $24.7 would then call for $26.6, which is the key threshold for a bullish long-term outlook. This is because $26.6 is the 62 percent retracement and connects to $33.5 as the trend terminus. As discussed earlier, $33.5 is the larger than target for Wave I, and would make Waves I and V equal. Therefore, when all is said and done, the connection to $33.5, and completing the five wave pattern, is made through $23.5.

This analysis does not mean that HTZ will absolutely rise to $33.5. The move up may prove to be corrective, stall, and continue to decline. However, based upon the factors discussed above, the potential for $33.5 is present. The forecast is a road map for the near-term, and the StatWare indicators are the vehicle used to navigate the turns in the road. Each of the targets discussed is a potential stalling point for the move up, and levels at which traders holding a long position will want to closely monitor for exit and warning signals generated by their indicators, like divergences, PeakOuts, and KCDpeaks. If these types of signals trigger, then profit will be taken. Otherwise, the long trade will be ridden higher, possibly scaled to the weekly chart upon confirming buy (L) signals, and ultimately exited when an exit signal triggers on that chart.

These are just a few of Kase’s trading and forecasting techniques that can help make you a better, and more informed, trader. If you would like to learn more, join us for our free weekly educational chat sessions, take a trial of our trading indicators, and if you are an energy trader, take a trial of our weekly crude oil and/or natural gas forecasts.

December RBOB futures met confluent support at $2.0776, and prices have subsequently settled into a coil formation that should break lower. However, a KasePO PeakOut (green P), indicates the move down is oversold and due for a correction. A directional break out of the coil will help to clarify the near term direction. Upon a break lower, look for $2.041 and then $1.915. Should the upward correction extend, watch for resistance at $2.240 and $2.368. The latter is expected to hold.

For more information and to take a trial of Kase’s weekly energy forecasts please visit the Energy Price Forecasts page.

XBZ4 Comdty