The consolidation of the last couple of weeks has been just what was needed to keep the "technicals" from becoming unsustainable.
For instance, the sideways stock price movement almost allowed a touch of the 20-day MA line and the pattern to be well contained within the Bollinger Bands. Now, the 50-day MA is about to turn up with a vengeance and the 200-day MA will soon be following.
Now, everything is in alignment for a SUCCESSFUL attack on the old highs, which I maintain is really in the low $90s.
The anticipation level is becoming elevated with deals pending, the earnings CC coming up next Tuesday, and the takeover flames being fanned by yet another SA article on the subject.
There were multiple closes between $91 and $93.47, which represents resistance.
Ideally -- unless the stock just blasts through that resistance without hesitation -- the stock would do some "work" in that area to use as a launching pad for a surge upward into uncharted territory.
Early next week IOC has its first quarterly CC under Dr. Hession's leadership. Suffice it to say, that should be interesting and might result in a price reaction.
A news announcement on THE DEAL could come at any time, as well as a farm-out deal or deals on various PPLs. These could dramatically affect how the stock is perceived.
My long-standing price target before the next typical IOC 35% to $40 pullback remains at $144 +/- 10%.
At some point, no matter where the stock goes on the upside, my current expectation is a pullback into the low $90s to "test" the coming breakout to whatever level it goes. The more muted the rally over new highs, the more muted the pull back will likely be.