by Rick Ackerman
I still view crude as being in a topping process that would complete an impressive dead-cat bounce from around $32 earlier this year. A neon-yellow flag for bulls is the steady drumbeat of ginned-up “supply-side” stories intended to trigger short-covering rallies: disruptions in Venezuelan output, production slowdowns in Nigeria. That sort of thing. In true bull markets, the story that typically drives oil prices higher for prolonged periods concerns growing demand from an expanding global economy. In this case, however, the global economy has been stagnant for years and shows no signs of improving; and China, the world economy’s 800-pound gorilla, is slumping, significantly softening global demand for energy resources at the margin. Even so, as the chart makes clear, there is still room over the next three to four weeks for a rally to as high as 52.79, the Hidden Pivot target of the pattern shown.