5 Energy Stocks We're Watching

Energy stocks appear poised to resume their long-term uptrend

by Tony Venosa, CMT

Published on Jan 25, 2017 at 3:12 PM

While oil prices are slightly lower today following an uptick in U.S. crude inventories, the energy sector appears ready to resume its long-term uptrend after a month-long pullback. Below are five names from the sector that are on our radar at the moment. Each has tagged an annual high since December, and has a chart suggesting another breakout could be just ahead.

Continental Resources, Inc. (NYSE:CLR) has been pulling back since hitting a two-year high on Dec. 1. The shares have found support at the round $50 level, and yesterday finished back above the 80-day moving average -- a trendline that has sent the stock on several legs higher since last March. CLR could currently stand to benefit from a round of short covering, as 22.5% of the equity's total float is wrapped up in these bearish bets -- representing 11.5 days' worth of buying power, at CLR's typical pace of trading. At $52.57, the stock has climbed almost 180% over the past 12 months.

CLR Daily Chart January 25 2
Chart courtesy of StockCharts.com

WPX Energy Inc (NYSE:WPX) also tapped a two-year high on Dec. 1, after breaking through previous resistance in the $13.50-$14 region. In fact, this area -- home to WPX's September and October peaks -- now seems to have turned to a supportive role, with the stock up nearly 220% year-over-year at $13.90. The shares have also found support at the 80-day moving average, which has been an ally since last March.

WPX Daily Chart January 25
Chart courtesy of StockCharts.com

Mid-December saw Patterson-UTI Energy, Inc. (NASDAQ:PTEN) snag a two-year high, after the shares popped above resistance at the $25 level. The stock has since been in a coil pattern, which could indicate a continuation of its longer term uptrend. The shares are sharply higher after the company announced last night a public offering of 15.8 million shares of common stock, up 6% at $28.61 today. And PTEN could also benefit from short covering, as these pessimistic positions account for nearly 16% of the stock's total float, or about nine sessions' worth of trading, at its average daily volume.

PTEN Daily Chart January 25
Chart courtesy of StockCharts.com

Schlumberger Limited (NYSE:SLB) hit an annual high just ahead of its earnings report last week. The shares have been holding above support at the $84 mark, which coincides with the rising 50-day moving average, as well as the security's August and October 2016 peaks. At $85.20, SLB is up more than 30% year-over-year.

SLB Daily Chart January 25
Chart courtesy of StockCharts.com

Due to report earnings before the open tomorrow, Helmerich & Payne, Inc. (NYSE:HP) notched a two-year high in mid-December after breaking out above resistance at the $70 level. Since then, the stock has been forming a falling wedge pattern, which could signal a continuation of its year-long uptrend. The shares have added roughly 76% over the last 12 months, at $80.60. And HP could get a lift from short covering, as well as a round of upbeat analyst attention. At present, 17% of the stock's float is sold short, and 17 of 21 brokerage firms call it a "hold" or worse. And if history repeats itself, HP could continue climbing through the end of this week.

HP Daily Chart January 25
Chart courtesy of StockCharts.com

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