Apache Corporation (NYSE: APA)

Apache Corporation, an independent energy company, explores, develops, and produces natural gas, crude oil, and natural gas liquids. It operates onshore and offshore assets primarily in the Permian Basin, the Anadarko basin in western Oklahoma, and the Texas Panhandle, Gulf Coast areas of the United States, as well as in Western Canada. The company also operates assets in Egypt, Australia, and offshore the United Kingdom in the North Sea. As of December 31, 2014, it had total estimated proved reserves of 1,074 million barrels of crude oil, 282 million barrels of natural gas liquids, and 6.2 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

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

1-year chart of Apache (NYSE: APA)

APA declined persistently back in the fall. Once the stock bottomed in December, APA ended up finding support at $57.50 (green). Now that the stock looks like it may be falling down to that support level again, traders should be able to expect some sort of bounce. However, if the $57.50 support were to break, lower prices should follow.

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The Tale of the Tape: APA has a key level of support at $57.50. A trader could enter a long position at $57.50 with a stop placed under the level. If the stock were to break below the support a short position could be entered instead.

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