Nymex crude oil futures are up a bull market 23.1% since trading as low as $42.38 per barrel on Dec. 24. Oil giants Chevron Corp.  (CVX) and Exxon Mobil Corp.  (XOM) lag oil but have solid gains of 13% and 12%, respectively, since setting Dec. 26 lows of $100.22 and $64.65, respectively.

Longer term, crude oil remains in a bear market, 32.2% below its Oct. 3 high of $76.90 per barrel with Chevron and Exxon Mobile in correction territory. Chevron is 15.4% below its Jan. 16, 2018 high of $133.88 and Exxon is 18.9% below its Jan. 29, 2018 high. Chevron closed up 0.16% at $113.45 Thursday; Exxon lost 0.51%, landing at $72.05.

Sorting through this volatility is a must before making an investment decisions. We know that Chevron and Exxon are both components of the Dow Jones Industrial Average and have been perennial members of the eight stocks that are considered "Dogs of the Dow". If you are seeking dividends, own a core long position in Chevron and Exxon Mobil as they currently offer dividend yields of 4.01% and 4.55%, respectively.

Jeffrey Marks, Senior Portfolio Analyst of Action Alerts PLUS, Jim Cramer's Charitable Trust, says BP Plc (BP)  "remains our preferred name in the group. Over the next few years, we see tailwinds to free cash flow resulting from increases to production and reductions in break-even costs. Meanwhile, the current price provides income-seeking investors a healthy dividend yield, above 6%. Plus, it is always positive to hear about new oil finds, and the company did just that on Tuesday when it announced the discovery of 1 billion barrels of crude at an existing oilfield in the Gulf of Mexico."

BP is a holding in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS member club. Want to be alerted before Jim Cramer buys or sells AAPL or GOOGL? Learn more now.

Here's the weekly chart for crude oil futures:

Courtesy of MetaStock Xenith

The weekly chart for Crude Oil will remain negative but oversold with oil below its five-week modified moving average of $51.77. Oil is also just below its 200-week simple moving average or "reversion to the mean" at $52.22, which was tested at the high of $52.58 on Wednesday. The 12x3x3 weekly slow stochastic reading is projected to rise to 12.40 this week, up from 8.39 on Jan. 4. This reading is below the oversold threshold of 20.00. With a reading below 10.00, the stock is also considered "too cheap to ignore".

A close this week above $51.77 will upgrade this chart to positive, which would target my monthly and quarterly risky levels at $56.20 and $60.16, respectively. A weekly close below my semiannual pivot of $50.84 indicates that the bear market rally for oil has ended.

Daily Chart for Chevron

Courtesy of MetaStock Xenith

The daily chart shows that Chevron has been below a "death cross" since Sept. 12 when the 50-day simple moving average fell below the 200-day simple moving average, which indicated that lower prices would follow. This negative signal tracked the stock to its Dec. 26 low of $100.22. In recovery, the stock began 2019 above my semiannual value level at $106.15, which is the lower of four horizontal lines. Today the stock is trading back and forth around my monthly and quarterly pivots at $111.76 and $112.24, respectively. The upside is to the 200-day simple moving average at $120.03.

Weekly Chart for Chevron

Courtesy of MetaStock Xenith

The weekly chart for Chevron will be positive if the stock ends this week above its five-week modified moving average of $112.56 and above its 200-week simple moving average or "reversion to the mean" at $106.99. The 12x3x3 weekly slow stochastic reading is projected to rise to 35.63 this week from 30.95 on Jan. 4.

Given this chart and analysis, buy weakness to the 200-week SMA of $106.87 and my semiannual value level at $106.15. Reduce holdings on strength to the 200-day SMA at $120.03.

Daily Chart for Exxon Mobil

Courtesy of MetaStock Xenith

The daily chart shows that Exxon Chevron has been below a "death cross" since Dec. 14 when the 50-day simple moving average fell below the 200-day simple moving average, which indicated lower prices would follow. This negative signal tracked the stock to its Dec. 26 low of $64.65. In recovery, the stock began 2019 above my quarterly value level at $66.87, which is the lower of three horizontal lines. The stock moved above my semiannual pivot at $69.47 on Jan. 2, which held on Jan. 4. The upside is to my monthly risky level at $79.19 and the 200-day simple moving average at $79.55.

Weekly Chart for Exxon Mobil

Courtesy of MetaStock Xenith

The weekly chart for Exxon Mobil needs a close on Friday above its five-week modified moving average of $73.60. The stock is below its 200-week simple moving average or "reversion to the mean" of 62.16. The 12x3x3 weekly slow stochastic reading is projected to rise to 21.14 this week from 17.29 on Jan. 4, above the oversold threshold of 20.00.

Given this chart and analysis, buy weakness to my semiannual and quarterly value levels of $69.47 and $66.87, respectively, and reduce holdings on strength to the 200-day and 200-week simple moving averages at $79.55 and $82.16, respectively.

Disclosure: The author has no positions in any stocks mentioned and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

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