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Market Extra: A death cross is forming in U.S. oil, underlining the unraveling of crude prices

Oil is already in a bear market, but now a fresh, negative pattern is crystallizing in the commodity that has absolutely bludgeoned bulls over the past two months.

January West Texas Intermediate crude CLF9, +2.26% on its first full session as the front-month contract, was down a whopping 7.5%, to $52.91 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange and that downtrend has propelled the U.S. benchmark to the brink of forming a death cross—a chart formation in an asset that many market technicians believe marks the point that a short-term decline morphs into a longer-term downtrend (see chart below).

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