National-Oilwell Varco, Inc. (NYSE: NOV)

National Oilwell Varco, Inc. provides equipment and components for oil and gas drilling and production; oilfield services; and supply chain integration services to the upstream oil and gas industry worldwide. The company’s Rig Technology segment offers offshore and onshore drilling rigs; derricks; pipe lifting, racking, rotating, and assembly systems; rig instrumentation; blowout preventers; coiled tubing equipment and pressure pumping units. The Petroleum Services and Supplies segment provides consumable goods and services to drill, complete, remediate, and work over oil and gas wells. Its Distribution and Transmission segment provides pipe, maintenance, repair, and operating supplies and spare parts to drill site and production locations, pipeline operations, processing plants, and industrial facilities; procurement, materials management, and logistics services.

Take a look at the 1-year chart of Varco (NYSE: NOV) with the added notations:

1-year chart of Varco (NYSE: NOV)

NOV may be forming a bearish chart pattern known as a double top. Double tops are reversal patterns and are as simple as they sound: Rallying up to a point (T), selling off to a support, and then rallying back up again to approximately the same top (T).

NOV appears to have formed the double top price pattern (blue) over the last 3 months. As with any price pattern, a confirmation of the pattern is needed. NOV would confirm its pattern by breaking the $80 support (red) that was created by the double top pattern.

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The Tale of the Tape: NOV has formed a potential double top. A short trade could be made on a break of the $80 level. Since there is no guarantee of a breakdown, a long trade could be made at $80 if a trader is willing to disregard the pattern.

Before making any trading decision, decide which side of the trade you believe gives you the highest probability of success. Do you prefer the short side of the market, long side, or do you want to be in the market at all? If you haven’t thought about it, review the overall indices themselves. For example, take a look at the S&P 500. Is it trending higher or lower? Has it recently broken through a key resistance or support level? Making these decisions ahead of time will help you decide which side of the trade you believe gives you the best opportunities.

No matter what your strategy or when you decide to enter, always remember to use protective stops and you’ll be around for the next trade. Capital preservation is always key!

Good luck!

Christian Tharp, CMT

Follow me on Twitter: @cmtstockcoach