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CRUDE OIL closed higher on Thursday and the midrange close sets the stage for a steady opening on Friday. Stochastics and the RSI remain bearish signalling that sideways to lower prices are possible nearterm. If it extends this month's decline, the 50% retracement level of the 20112012rally crossing is the next downside target. Closes above the 20day moving average crossing are needed to confirm that a low has been posted.