We want to keep an eye on the energy space. The rally in oil may not be over. Wall Street is still nervous about the unrest across North Africa and the Middle East. We've got the U.N. getting involved with the Libyan civil war. We have protestors getting shot in Bahrain, Yemen, and now Syria. These three countries are not significant oil producers but they are neighbors to countries that are oil producers. The Saudi government is literally trying to buy time with billions in handouts for its people to keep them pacified. Plus, there are elections for Nigeria this year, which is a major exporter of light, sweet crude oil.
Meanwhile coal, natural gas, and solar stocks all showed some relative strength this past week as investors pondered the future of nuclear energy thanks to Japan's struggles to keep their earthquake-damaged reactors from melting. I am somewhat concerned that the rally in the oil sector is getting pretty long in the tooth. If you look at charts of the OIX oil index and OSX oil services index they look way overbought and due for a correction. Of course you can bet there are traders praying for a pull back so they can buy the dip in these oil stocks.
One stock I strongly considered adding tonight was Southwestern Energy Co. (SWN). Shares just broke out over major resistance at the $40.00 mark. The rally this past week was fueled by strong volume, which is normally a bullish signal. I'm just a little hesitant to chase it after a +14% rally in six days, especially when the stock market has been so volatile and the market's short-term trend remains in doubt.
Wall Street is facing a lot of cross winds tonight with the situation in Japan, the situation in Libya, and the Middle East. I'm praying the story in Japan has a happy ending and they can cool off their reactors before they see a complete meltdown. A successful resolution to Japan's nuclear troubles would be bullish for the market. However, if the stock market wants to go down it will find a reason. No new plays tonight.