NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The crude oil market is taking a long overdue rest. Prices have dropped more than 6% in the last few days, with oil now trading at less than $107 a barrel.Does this represent the beginning of the end of this monster trade? Or is it just a brief pause in a relentless upswing? I'm betting strongly on the latter and looking to scoop up some oil stocks as their prices fall into a value zone. Three events have combined in the last days to cause oil prices to drop precipitously. First, there was talk of a peace deal in Libya that Moammar Gadhafi had preliminarily accepted. It's hoped that this would restore some of the 1.4 million-barrel Libyan oil supply that has been lost. Second, the revised rating of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear accident from a level 5 to a level 7 (i.e., "Chernobyl-like") event has spooked investors. Lastly -- and probably most damaging to oil prices -- the Goldman commodity group in London issued a note advising clients to take profits on their oil positions, at least in the short term. We can think about the money that has entered the oil trade in a two-tiered way. There is the long-term money: those investors and new commercial entrants who have decided they can no longer afford to ignore oil either for the sake of their portfolios or because of the increasing risk of higher prices to their businesses. Then there is the short-term money: the hedge funds and individual investors and other "fast" players who can afford to get in and out of the oil trade and do it at a moment's notice, trying to catch the momentum and lock in short-term wins. It is the "fast," short-term money, that has temporarily moved out of oil because of the three events I mentioned. The oil stocks have gone with them. The energy sector, long the leader in this move upward in the stock market, has clearly set some interim highs and has begun to roll over in the short run.
Because I think the dive in oil prices is due to short-term speculators leaving the trade, I'm looking to grab some oil stocks as their prices fall to value levels. The rollover in oil stocks has been most severe among "mid-caps," those stocks with market caps of between $25 billion and $50 billion. In this sweet spot, two stocks seem to be reaching value areas: Apache ( APA) and Anadarko ( APC). These two represent some of the slightly higher "beta" stocks in the integrated space and are just a wee bit more volatile than the mega-cap trio of integrated oil: Exxon ( XOM), Chevron ( CVX) and Conoco-Philips ( COP). That means Apache and Anadarko are among the first stocks to decline into a targeted value area in a short-term oil price shakeout. Apache's stock starts to look good at any price less than $120, with a super target being closer to $117 a share. For Anadarko, the key support area is around $74, and therefore I'd like to start buying somewhere less than $77. Both of these stocks are getting very close to the "go," zone and another day or two of energy weakness will get them there. Take advantage of what I think is a short-term recoiling of speculative money from the oil market and position yourself in some great long-term energy stocks. At the time of publication, Dicker owned shares of Apache and ExxonMobil.