Oil prices have been a bit shaky today, largely due to mixed assessments of U.S. inventories, but the commodity has notably managed to hit highs not touched in six months.
West Texas Intermediate crude oil, the U.S. benchmark, rested at $44.41 per barrel midday, but reached $45.18 during intraday trading.
And where the price of oil has traveled, so too has the price of industrials stocks such as General Electric (GE - Get Report) , United Technologies (UTX - Get Report) , Caterpillar (CAT - Get Report) , Boeing (BA - Get Report) , Honeywell International (HON - Get Report) , and Parker Hannifin (PH - Get Report) .
"When you saw oil up, it was able to take everything up," said Jim Cramer, TheStreet's founder and manager of the Action Alerts PLUS portfolio, which owns GE. "Now aerospace goes up because more oil goes up the more you need new planes. You see the rails go up because you see demand is exceeding supply, which tells you that things are better in the economy."
Oil sets the tone for all industrial stocks because, among other a number of other factors, better oil means China is getting better, Cramer explained.
And while China may not be enough to swing the market into stabilization, industrial companies such as Caterpillar have been optimistic about better times ahead due to modest improvements there.
Meanwhile, oil has continued to rise over the course of the past several weeks amid speculation that OPEC would come to an agreement to freeze production at current levels and U.S. production would continue to level.
Baker Hughes (BHI) said Wednesday it expects U.S. rig count to begin to stabilize in the second half of 2016, but does not anticipate domestic drilling activity to increase substantially in response.
The oilfield services provider, which releases U.S. and worldwide rig counts each Friday, also said global rig counts will decline steadily through the end of the year due to fewer new projects.
With supply tapering off both domestically and abroad, the growing consensus among industry watchers is that oil could soon trend up to above $50 per barrel.
Oil is viewed as the world barometer for growth, Cramer explained Wednesday, so with a rolling oil bear market behind us, it's safe to say a rolling bull market is upon us.
And in the case of oil, a rising tide lifts all boats.