Most Wall Street analysts and energy experts say that oil prices are set to continue to rise in 2017. They predict that OPEC production cuts will stick and that an improved economy under a Trump presidency will increase demand.

Here are reasons to take a contrarian view.

Nymex crude oil futures began 2017 by setting a 52-week high of $55.24 on Jan. 3. However, the day's close of $52.33 was below the Dec. 30 low of $53.41. This technical signal is called a daily key reversal.

Another reason for concern is that five speculative oil services stocks have been lagging crude oil. Diamond Offshore (DO - Get Report) , McDermott (MDR - Get Report) , Noble (NE - Get Report) , Transocean (RIG - Get Report) and Tidewater (TDW - Get Report) did not begin 2017 anywhere near their 52-week highs. All five remain in bull market territory vs. their 2016 lows, but only McDermott has been outperforming oil. Transocean lags McDermott, but both set 52-week highs on Dec. 12.

If industry experts are correct, shouldn't there be some merger activities underway? Yet the banking industry is saddled with noncurrent loans to the oil and gas industry.

Note that Diamond Offshore, Noble and Tidewater are deep into bear market territory vs. their 2016 highs.

Here's the scorecard for crude oil and the five oil services stocks.

 

The weekly chart shows a red line through the price bars, marking the key weekly moving average (a five-week modified moving average). The green line is the 200-week simple moving average, the "reversion to the mean."

The study in red along the bottom of the chart is weekly momentum (a 12x3x3 weekly slow stochastic), which scales between 00.00 and 100.00, where readings above 80.00 indicate overbought and readings below 20.00 indicate oversold.

A negative weekly chart shows the stock below its key weekly moving average, with weekly momentum declining below 80.00 in a trend toward 20.00. A positive weekly chart shows the stock above its key weekly moving average, with weekly momentum rising above 20.00 in a trend toward 80.00.

Here's the weekly chart for Nymex crude oil.

 

Courtesy of MetaStock Xenith

Oil futures closed Wednesday at $53.35, up 44% since the end of 2015. They are in bull market territory, 104.8% above the Feb. 11 low of $26.05 per barrel.

The weekly chart is positive but overbought, with oil above its key weekly moving average of $51.12, and still well below its 200-week simple moving average of $69.56. Oil has been below this reversion to the mean since the week of Aug. 22, 2014, when the average was $96.17. The weekly momentum reading is projected to rise to 81.29 this week, up from 77.55 on Dec. 30, becoming overbought above the threshold of 80.00.

Investors looking to buy oil should consider doing so on weakness to $50.68, which is a key level on technical charts until the end of January. Investors looking to reduce holdings should consider doing so on strength to $56.35, which is a key level on technical charts until the end of next week.

My annual, semiannual and quarterly value levels lag at $47.80, $43.04 and $42.06, respectively. My semiannual and annual risky levels are $58.40 and $103.82, respectively. Beware that a close this week below last week's low of $53.03 will be a weekly key reversal.

Here's the weekly chart for Diamond Offshore.

 

Courtesy of MetaStock Xenith

Diamond Offshore closed Wednesday at $18.45, down 12.6% since the end of 2015. The stock is in bear market territory, 31% below its June 8 high of $26.72. The stock is also in bull market territory, and is 30.1% above its Jan. 20 low of $14.18.

The weekly chart is neutral, with the stock above its key weekly moving average of $18.23 and well below its 200-week simple moving average of $37.73. The weekly momentum reading is projected to decline to 51.63 this week, down from 57.14 on Dec. 30.

Investors looking to buy weakness should do so at $15.50, which is a key level on technical charts until the end of January. Investors looking to reduce holdings should consider doing so on strength to $20.36, which is a key level on technical charts until the end of next week.

Here's the weekly chart for McDermott.

Courtesy of MetaStock Xenith

McDermott closed Wednesday at $7.41, up 121.2% since the end of 2015. The stock is in bull market territory, 236.8% above its Jan. 20 low of $2.20. McDermott was a buy as an "option on survival" -- a stock trading between $1 and $3 a share. The stock is 9.7% below its 52-week intraday high of $8.21, set on Dec. 12.

The weekly chart is positive but overbought, with the stock above its key weekly moving average of $6.97 and above its 200-week simple moving average of $5.95. The weekly momentum reading is projected to fall to 82.84 this week, down from 85.97, decreasing but still above the overbought threshold of 80.00.

Investors looking to buy McDermott should consider doing so on weakness to $7.23 and $7, which are key levels on technical charts until the end of March and the end of January, respectively. Investors looking to reduce holdings should consider selling strength to $8.87, which is a key level on technical charts until the end of next week.

Here's the weekly chart for Noble.

 

Courtesy of MetaStock Xenith

Noble closed Wednesday at $6.62, down 37.3% since the end of 2015. The stock is in bear market territory, 52.4% below its March 7 high of $13.90. The stock is also in bull market territory, 43.6% above its Nov. 2 low of $4.61.

The weekly chart is neutral, with the stock above its key weekly moving average of $6.23 and well below its 200-week simple moving average of $19.52. The weekly momentum reading is projected to decline to 51.81 this week, down from 54.97 on Dec. 30.

Investors looking to buy Noble should consider doing so on weakness to $4.58, which is a key level on technical charts until the end of June. Investors looking to reduce holdings should consider doing so if the stock rises to $7.47, which is another key level on technical charts until the end of next week.

Here's the weekly chart for Transocean.

Courtesy of MetaStock Xenith

Transocean closed Wednesday at $15.45, up 24.8% since the end of 2015. The stock is in bull market territory, 101.4% above its Feb. 24 low of $7.67. The stock is also 7.3% below its 52-week intraday high of $16.66, set on Dec. 12.

The weekly chart is neutral, with the stock above its key weekly moving average of $13.79 but still well below its 200-week simple moving average of $27.08. The weekly momentum reading is projected to slip to 79.93 this week, down from 81.05 on Dec. 30, moving below the overbought threshold of 80.00.

Investors looking to buy Transocean should consider doing so on weakness to $12.26, which is a key level on technical charts until the end of January. Investors looking to reduce holdings should consider doing so at $17.27, which is a key level on technical charts until the end of next week.

Here's the weekly chart for Tidewater.

Courtesy of MetaStock Xenith

Tidewater closed Wednesday at $3.78, down 42.8% since the end of 2015. The stock became an "option on survival" when it traded as low as $1.50 on Oct. 31. Remember that an "option on survival" is a stock trading between $1 and $3 a share. The stock is in bear market territory, 67.4% below its March 7 high of $11.58. The stock is now in bull market territory as well, 152% above its Oct. 31 low of $1.50.

The weekly chart is positive, with the stock above its key weekly moving average of $3.28 and still well below its 200-week simple moving average of $30.55. The weekly momentum reading is projected to rise to 68.71 this week, up from 68.04 on Dec. 30.

Investors looking to buy Tidewater should consider doing so on weakness to $2.68, which is the 50-day simple moving average. Investors looking to reduce holdings should consider doing so if the stock rises to $4.50, which is a key level on technical charts until the end of next week. My semiannual risky level is $9.92.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.