The stock began to fade immediately after reaching this level on Dec. 13. Investors should be expect more downside in the near term as the heavy resistance near the this month's peak intensifies.
Exxon Mobil's powerful early December run actually got its start in late November with an impressive high volume breakout. Shares gained 1.6% that day after opening the session with an upside gap. XOM stalled for a few days but by Dec. 7 the rally was back in gear. The following week shares broke through a key level. One that will likely be retested soon.
For patient XOM investors, a drift back down to the $89 to $88 area will represent a very low-risk entry opportunity. This important support zone is marked by the August and October highs as well as the big Dec. 12 breakout gap.
Near the lower band of this area is both the upward sloping 50- and 200-day moving averages. On the downside, a close back below the December low of $86.60 would send a clear warning sign that more basing will be needed before XOM regains its footing.