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Oil Stocks Take Refreshing Breather

Editor's Note: This is a bonus story from Helene Meisler, whose commentary usually appears only on RealMoney . We're offering it today to readers. This story was originally published at 9:07 a.m. EST today. To read Meisler's commentary regularly, please click here for information about a free trial to RealMoney.

I see that China has people worried about steel stocks. (What a great call by Street Insight's Doug Kass to short that sector Monday morning!) Folks are then making the connection that if you're going to worry about the Chinese and steel, doesn't it stand to reason we need to worry about the oil stocks as well?

I worried about the oil stocks on Feb. 28, when I posted my now-famous comparison of ExxonMobil (XOM - Get Report) to Qualcomm (QCOM - Get Report). In case you haven't noticed, folks, ExxonMobil is right where it was that day: Its Feb. 28 high was $64.04 and it closed yesterday at $63.10. This despite oil's $2-plus rise in the same time frame.

And no, I'm not picking on oil again, but while we're on the subject, have you noticed that when oil first traded to that $40 level, folks were chatting about oil between $30 and $40? Well, prices never came back under $40 so it took a while, but then they began to chat about oil between $40 and $50, and that $50 would be the choke point. Remember that? Remember when folks thought oil prices over $50 would cut things off?

Well, now people are talking about oil between $50 and $60, and they're using $60 as the choke level.
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