Shares of Exxon Mobil (XOM) - Get Report are higher in Friday trading, up 2.2% to $69, after a mixed earnings result.

While earnings of 75 cents per share beat estimates by 8 cents, revenue of $65.05 billion missed analysts' expectations by more than $800 million and declined 15% year-over-year.

Even though the company beat on earnings expectations, it's important to point out that they fell 49% from the year-earlier period. With sales and earnings down notably year-over-year but with the market largely pricing in the decline, it's fair to call this a mixed quarter.

Similarly, it's fair to say the charts look mixed for the stock of the Irving, Texas, energy giant, too.

Declines down to the mid-$60s continue to hold as support, which tilts bullish. However, Exxon shares continue to register a series of lower highs, which leans bearish.

All these considerations -- many of which conflict with one another -- makes Exxon Mobil a difficult puzzle to solve. Let's see if we can untangle the charts a bit.

Trading Exxon Mobil Stock

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Let's zoom out before we zoom in, by first looking at a five-year weekly chart of Exxon Mobil stock. The shares have found support in the $66 to $67 area for the past several months (blue line).

But XOM has spent most of 2019 putting in a series of lower highs, marked on the chart above with blue circles. When a trend continues to squeeze a stock lower against a static level of support, the technical setup generally favors the bears.

That is, unless the stock is able to break out over its downtrend mark and put in a higher low. With Exxon Mobil stock, bulls do not have that development as of now, and it doesn't look as if it will happen on Friday either -- although a post-earnings rally is a good start.

Should support ultimately give way, XOM stock could fall toward $62.50. The silver lining here is that over the past five years these declines have been excellent buying opportunities.

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As you can see on the daily chart above, XOM stock continues to hold support. But it's below all its major moving averages and is below downtrend resistance (blue line).

So what's the setup?

On the upside, bulls need to see Exxon Mobil shares reclaim the 50-day moving average and downtrend resistance. Until then, the stock remains stuck in this pattern. On the downside, see if XOM stock takes out its recent low at $66.31. Below puts the December low on the table.

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This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author had no positions in the stocks mentioned.