Crude oil sees first real ‘death cross’ since the pandemic plunge of early 2020

January 15, 2024 | by


Crude oil has experienced a significant development in its market trend as it sees its first real ‘death cross’ since the pandemic plunge of early 2020. This bearish chart pattern, appearing at a time when fundamentals appear bullish, may indicate that demand for crude oil is increasingly becoming a problem. The crossing of the 50-day moving average for crude futures below the 200-day moving average signals potentially negative implications for the market. Ultimately, this development raises concerns about the future of crude oil and its role in the energy sector moving forward.

Crude oil sees first real death cross since the pandemic plunge of early 2020

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Crude oil sees first real ‘death cross’ since the pandemic plunge of early 2020.


The crude oil market is currently experiencing a significant event known as a ‘death cross’ pattern, which hasn’t been seen since the pandemic plunge of early 2020. This pattern is causing concern among investors and experts as it may be an indication of declining demand for crude oil. In this article, we will explore the implications of the death cross pattern for the crude oil market, compare it to the previous pandemic plunge, and analyze the potential impact on prices.

Explanation of ‘death cross’ pattern

A ‘death cross’ pattern occurs when the 50-day moving average for crude oil futures crosses below the 200-day moving average. The moving averages are calculated by taking the average closing prices of a security over a specific period. In the case of the death cross, the shorter-term moving average (50-day) crossing below the longer-term moving average (200-day) suggests a bearish signal for the market.

Implications for crude oil market

The emergence of a death cross pattern in the crude oil market is typically considered a bearish signal. It indicates that the short-term trend is becoming weaker and may point to a potential decline in prices. Investors and traders closely monitor this pattern as it can influence their trading decisions and strategies.

The potential impact on prices can be significant, as the death cross pattern is usually associated with increased selling pressure in the market. This can lead to a further decline in crude oil prices, exacerbating the bearish sentiment and potentially causing a downward spiral in the market.

Additionally, the death cross pattern may reflect the supply and demand dynamics in the crude oil market. If demand for crude oil is weakening while supply remains high, it can put further pressure on prices. Factors such as geopolitical tensions, global economic conditions, and shifts in energy policies can also contribute to the market dynamics.

The role of OPEC+ in maintaining market stability is also crucial. OPEC+ is a coalition of oil-producing nations, including members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC countries. Their decisions on production levels can impact crude oil prices and help stabilize the market in times of volatility.

Comparison to pandemic plunge of early 2020

The current death cross pattern in the crude oil market bears similarities to the pandemic plunge of early 2020. During that period, the COVID-19 pandemic caused a significant decline in oil demand due to travel restrictions and reduced economic activity. This led to a sharp drop in crude oil prices and a collapse in the market.

From the lessons learned during the 2020 market crash, experts are better equipped to understand the potential implications of the death cross pattern. However, there may be differences in market reactions this time, considering the ongoing recovery from the pandemic and the potential for changes in energy policies worldwide.

Bearish chart pattern appearing at a time when fundamentals appear bullish may suggest demand is increasingly becoming a problem

Overview of current market conditions

Despite the emerging death cross pattern, the crude oil market has been showing signs of recovery and increased demand. Economic activities are gradually returning to pre-pandemic levels, leading to higher energy consumption. The market is also experiencing bullish factors such as increased vaccination rates, economic stimulus packages, and growing global energy demands.

Bullish factors in the crude oil market

Several factors contribute to the bullish sentiment in the crude oil market. The successful distribution of vaccines has led to a more optimistic outlook for economic recovery and increased energy consumption. Governments worldwide are implementing stimulus measures to boost their economies, which can potentially drive up demand for crude oil.

Furthermore, growing energy demands from developing countries, infrastructure projects, and global industrial activities are expected to strengthen the crude oil market. This bullish sentiment is supported by forecasts of increased oil consumption in the coming years.

Reasons behind the emergence of the death cross

The emergence of the death cross pattern amid the bullish market conditions raises concerns about the demand for crude oil. It suggests that despite the positive factors, there may be underlying issues affecting the market dynamics. Some possible reasons for the death cross pattern include lingering effects of the pandemic on travel and transportation, technological advancements leading to greater energy efficiency and conservation, and shifts towards renewable energy sources.

The death cross pattern can be seen as a warning sign that demand for crude oil is increasingly becoming a problem. This can have significant implications for the energy industry, with potential consequences for oil producers, exporters, and investors.


Crude oil sees first real death cross since the pandemic plunge of early 2020

Crude-oil futures have produced a real ‘death cross’ pattern for the first time since just before the pandemic plunge of early 2020.

Explanation of crude-oil futures

Crude-oil futures are financial contracts that allow market participants to buy or sell oil at a predetermined price and date in the future. Futures trading provides a way for investors and traders to speculate on the price movements of crude oil without physically owning the commodity.

Significance of death cross in futures trading

The death cross pattern in crude-oil futures holds significance for traders and investors in the futures market. It indicates a potentially bearish trend and can influence trading strategies, including short-selling or reducing positions in anticipation of further price declines.

Traders rely on technical indicators like the death cross to identify trend reversals and assess market sentiment. The death cross can serve as confirmation of a bearish trend, prompting market participants to adjust their trading positions accordingly.

Comparison to other technical indicators

The death cross is one of many technical indicators used in futures trading to analyze price trends and make informed decisions. Other widely used indicators include moving averages, trendlines, and candlestick patterns. Each indicator provides different insights into market behavior, helping traders develop effective strategies.

It is essential to consider multiple indicators and analyze them in conjunction with other market factors to gain a comprehensive view of the crude oil market and make informed trading decisions.

A bearish ‘death cross’ pattern appeared Tuesday, with the 50-day moving average for crude futures crossing below the 200-DMA.

Definition of moving average

A moving average is a statistical calculation frequently used in technical analysis to smooth out price data and identify underlying trends. It represents the average closing price of a security or commodity over a specified period, such as 50 days or 200 days. Moving averages help traders identify potential support and resistance levels and gauge the strength of the current trend.

Importance of 50-day and 200-day moving averages

The 50-day and 200-day moving averages are commonly used moving averages in technical analysis. The 50-day moving average provides a more short-term view of price trends, while the 200-day moving average represents a longer-term perspective. The crossover of these moving averages is considered significant as it can signal a trend reversal.

When the 50-day moving average crosses below the 200-day moving average, as seen in the recent death cross pattern, it suggests a shift towards a bearish trend in the market. Traders interpret this crossover as a potential sell signal, indicating a higher likelihood of further price declines.

Significance of their intersection

The intersection of the 50-day moving average below the 200-day moving average is a key event in technical analysis. This crossover indicates that the shorter-term average has fallen below the longer-term average, suggesting a weakening trend.

The significance of this intersection lies in its ability to confirm or indicate a potential trend reversal. In the case of the death cross pattern, the crossing of these moving averages suggests a shift from a bullish trend to a bearish one, with potential implications for crude oil prices.

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What a strong ‘Santa Claus rally’ says about the U.S. stock market in January — and 2024

Explanation of Santa Claus rally

The Santa Claus rally refers to a historical phenomenon where the U.S. stock market tends to experience a period of strong performance during the last trading days of December and the first trading days of January. This rally is often associated with increased investor optimism, holiday season spending, and positive market sentiment.

Connection between stock market and crude oil

The stock market and the crude oil market are interconnected, as they both reflect the overall health of the economy. Positive developments in the stock market can indicate increased investor confidence, which may translate to higher energy consumption and demand for crude oil.

Conversely, declines in the stock market can signal economic instability or negative sentiment, potentially leading to lower energy consumption and reduced demand for crude oil.

Impact of rally on crude oil prices

The strength of the Santa Claus rally in the U.S. stock market can have implications for crude oil prices. If the rally indicates a robust economic recovery and increased energy demands, it can be a positive factor for crude oil prices.

However, if the rally is short-lived or accompanied by negative market factors, such as escalating geopolitical tensions or regulatory changes, it may have a limited impact on crude oil prices.

It is important to note that while the Santa Claus rally may provide insights into market sentiment and short-term price movements, long-term trends in crude oil prices are influenced by a wide range of factors, including global energy policies, geopolitical events, and supply-demand dynamics.

In conclusion, the emergence of the death cross pattern in the crude oil market raises concerns about declining demand and potential downward pressure on prices. The market conditions, including bullish factors and the role of OPEC+, should be carefully monitored to assess the impact on the industry. Additionally, the comparison to the pandemic plunge of early 2020 provides insights into potential similarities and differences in market reactions. Traders and investors should also consider technical indicators like moving averages and stay informed through reliable financial news sources like MarketWatch. Finally, the connection between the stock market and crude oil, including the Santa Claus rally, can offer valuable insights into market dynamics and potential implications for crude oil prices.

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