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PetroChina Gets Noticed, Needs Break

This column was originally published on RealMoney on Aug. 2 at 8:59 a.m. EDT. It's being republished as a bonus for readers.

For weeks now we've been hearing daily, if not hourly, commentary on Cnooc's (CEO) bid for Unocal (UCL).

Some are opposed to it; some are for it. It's turned into a national debate, and not just on Wall Street.

And while everyone is so focused on this aspect of China and oil, they have largely missed the monster move in PetroChina (PTR).

Since early June PetroChina has rallied $30 while Unocal, the one with the bidding war out there, has moved $6. But that's not what I find so amazing.

What I find so amazing is that it took a move of that magnitude in PetroChina for the folks on TV to discover it.

Yes, suddenly Monday I heard them start chatting about how great this stock has been. Heck, I was feeling poorly about having shown it as a positive chart back in early March because it subsequently did absolutely nothing for three months.

But when a stock has moved like PetroChina has and no one notices it until it's had such a monster move, I tend to take notice.

So Monday I pulled up a weekly chart on this stock and calculated an initial target. Lo and behold, the calculation measures to about $90.

Keep in mind that these targets are not exact; they are meant to be general guides about where a stock might correct from, or even have a sideways move.

This chart has done nothing wrong -- it hasn't made a lower high -- but when a stock has moved like this one has and it is in its target zone and the media begin to notice it, it's usually time for it to correct or take a rest.

In the meantime, I found a stock that has a base and is seeing a pickup in volume, and one that -- at least so far -- has escaped the media's notice. NTL (NTLI) has been building a base for about seven or eight months now and if it can cross that downtrend line around $69, and do so on volume, it can emerge from this base.

For the market as a whole, we are now short-term overbought and although there is plenty of anecdotal evidence that folks have fallen in love with the market, the statistics on sentiment continue not to support any sort of extreme in sentiment.

Overbought/Oversold Oscillators

For more explanation of these indicators, check out The Chartist's primer .

P.S. from Editor-in-Chief, Dave Morrow:
It's always been my opinion that it pays to have more -- not fewer -- expert market views and analyses when you're making investing or trading decisions. That's why I recommend you take advantage of our free trial offer to RealMoney premium Web site, where you'll get in-depth commentary and money-making strategies from over 50 Wall Street pros, including Jim Cramer. Take my advice -- try it now.

Helene Meisler writes a technical analysis column on the U.S. equity markets and updates her charts daily. Meisler trained at several Wall Street firms, including Goldman Sachs and SG Cowen, and has worked with the equity trading department at Cargill. At time of publication, she held no positions in any securities mentioned in this column, although holdings can change at any time. Under no circumstances does the information in this column represent a recommendation to buy or sell stocks. She appreciates your feedback; click here to send her an email.

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