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USO: Bottom Is In; Buyers Are Returning; $4 Price Target

During last week's collapse in the oil market, many of the major oil funds were taking extraordinary steps to prevent the collapse in themselves too. The ProShares Ultra Bloomberg Crude Oil Fund (UCO) completed a 1:25 reverse split to save the share price. The iPath S&P GSCI Crude Oil Total Return Index ETN (OIL) closed up shop altogether.

The United States Oil Fund (USO) did a 1:8 reverse split of its own. This one, however, captured more attention since USO is up to around $4 billion in assets and was the target investment of choice for those looking to speculate on oil prices.

But the changes that the fund's management team look like it might save the fund after all. The ability to purchase oil futures contracts out into the future is helping to improve liquidity and reduce risk, while the price split is keeping the share price above the key $1 level.

The crude oil market seems to have stabilized in the near-term somewhere in the $10-15 range (although prices have been falling on Monday). That's been enough to draw buyers back into USO.

USO's price has remained steady around the $2.60 mark for about a week straight. On top of that, the negative volume index appears to have also hit its floor.

Volume has shot through the roof since the middle of March, but buying volume for USO down below the $3-4 range has started improving. Granted, it still has some ways to go before it approaches more healthy long-term levels, but it's certainly looking like the short-term bottom is in.

I'm anticipating a return back to the $4 area here over the next month or so as governments continue pushing to open up the economy and create some more demand for crude products.

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