Given that Exxon missed on top- and bottom-line expectations, it's somewhat surprising that the stock is only down as marginally as it is. Add to it the fact that Exxon had rallied quite a bit over the past few months and longs should be pleasantly surprised it's not down more.
Earnings of 55 cents per share missed expectations by 15 cents per share and declined 50% year over year, while revenue of $63.7 billion came up well short of estimates for $67.35 billion and declined 6.7%.
Exxon's results also come alongside Chevron's (CVX - Get Report) quarterly results, which is vying for a takeout of Anadarko Petroleum (APC) amid a bidding war with Occidental Petroleum (OXY - Get Report) .
Trading Exxon Mobil Stock
After a report like this, bulls can't be blamed for a lack of urgency when considering a long position in Exxon Mobil stock. But should they show some urgency here?
For now, the stock is finding support from the 10-week moving average. That's actually a pretty positive sign for bulls, although it's certainly possible this doesn't hold up next week. If it fails, a drop into the mid-$70s shouldn't be ruled out.
The stock has been stuck in a rather tight range for the last three years. With a few exceptions, support is generally found near $74 with an overshoot to sub-$70 prices occurring twice in the last 15 months. On the upside, gains are generally curbed at $84, while there is a slight level of downtrend resistance (blue line) weighing on Exxon Mobil stock.
So what now? Unfortunately, a gap down to $64 won't come again without some sort of meltdown effect, either in the stock market or the oil market (or both). That leaves this $72 to $74 area is a good place to consider a long position against range support.
Before we get there though, we must see how Exxon Mobil does with the 10-week moving average. Should it hold up early next week, a rebound into that $83 to $84 range resistance area will be in the cards. Worth noting is that a rebound on this type of earnings report would be viewed as bullish, as not too many stocks would typically rally on such results.
That said, should the 10-week moving average support fail, a drop into the $76 to $78 area would be expected. From there, we'd have to evaluate whether the selling in XOM stock is exhausted or if lower prices are in store.