What a way to start the week.
Shares of tech giant Apple Inc. (AAPL) - Get Report rose 1.9% Monday, testing all-time highs again after briefly correcting alongside the rest of the market at the start of February. One of the catalysts for Monday's upside in Apple was bullish comments made by Warren Buffett on CNBC Monday morning.
The Oracle of Omaha said in the interview that, "over the last year, [Berkshire Hathaway has] bought more Apple than anything else."
That big bet on Apple has panned out. In the trailing 12 months, this $900 billion tech stock has surged more than 30%, providing a major tailwind for the rest of the S&P 500 to ratchet higher in that time. Now, in 2018, shares are flirting with brand new all-time highs, and the next possible stepping stone to a trillion-dollar valuation.
To figure out how to trade Apple here, we're turning to the chart for a technical look at what's happening in this big stock's price trajectory.
You don't need to be an expert trader to figure out the big trend that's propelled shares higher. Since the start of 2017, this tech giant has been bouncing its way higher in a very well defined uptrending channel, catching a bid on every successive test of trendline support along the way.
Simply put, Apple's been a "buy the dips stock" for the past year. And it still is today.
The most recent test of trendline support came on Apple's correction. Shares touched the bottom of their uptrend briefly, only to rebound sharply back up to trendline resistance. That recent trend strength is a good indication that buyers are still very much in control of shares here.
Now, Apple's test of all-time highs at the $180 level and the top of its price channel just above that has some important trading implications for 2018. A push through those two key levels could shift Apple's price trajectory into a new trend, and provide the momentum needed to pull shares up above the psychologically key $1 trillion market capitalization level.
The bottom line is that it still makes a lot of sense to own Apple right now. After leading through 2017, this stock is likely to remain a price performance leader in the months ahead.
From a risk management standpoint, it makes sense to park a protective stop on the other side of this month's lows around $155.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author was long AAPL.