Laredo Petroleum Inc (NYSE: LPI)

Laredo Petroleum, Inc. operates as an independent energy company in the United States. It focuses on the exploration, development, and acquisition of oil and natural gas properties primarily in the Permian region of west Texas. As of December 31, 2013, it had interests in the 202,084 net acres in the Permian Basin, and 50,000 net acres in the Dalhart Basin, Texas Panhandle, as well as had a total proved reserves of 203,615 thousand barrels of oil equivalent.

Take a look at the 1-year chart of Laredo (NYSE: LPI) below with my added notations:

1-year chart of Laredo (NYSE: LPI)

LPI has formed a relatively clear up-channel chart pattern over the last month. A channel is simply formed through the combination of a trend line support that runs parallel to a trend line resistance. When it comes to channels, remember that any (3) points can start the channel, but a 4th point or more confirms it. You can see that LPI has several points of channel resistance and support (blue).

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The Tale of the Tape: LPI has formed a small up-channel. A long trade could be entered on a pullback down to the channel support, or on a break through the channel resistance, which is currently sitting near $20. Short opportunities would be on rallies up to channel resistance or on a break of channel support.

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