For all the noise about the FAANG stocks (Facebook (FB) - Get Report , Apple (AAPL) - Get Report , Amazon (AMZN) - Get Report , Netflix (NFLX) - Get Report and Alphabet, nee Google, (GOOGL) - Get Report ) leading the Nasdaq charge, There is more to this tech rally than the big showy names.
Ponsi showed Cramer a daily charts comparing the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite Index. The S&P 500 peaked in late February and has been drifting lower since. Meanwhile the Nasdaq traded flat as the S&P was declining. With the new market lift beginning later in April, the Nasdaq rallied from much higher levels, breaking resistance, while the S&P is still trying to clear its February highs.
Ponsi pointed out that the FAANG names are heavily weighted in the S&P 500. So the big rally in the Nasdaq is about more that just those showy tickers.
That raises the question of which stocks or groups are really driving the Nasdaq's outperformance.
One of the clear winners this year is software. Look at the chart below, which compares the PowerShares QQQ Trust ETF (QQQ) - Get Report , which tracks the Nasdaq 100 in red, against the iShares North American Tech Software ETF, the (IGV) - Get Report , in green. Since the beginning of the year, Ponsi points out that this software focused ETF has consistently outperformed the Nasdaq 100, which is a better barometer of tech than the broader Nasdaq composite, because the QQQ strips out all of the big financials in the index. So when you see the software stocks outperforming the Nasdaq 100, it's a pretty clear statement that software is beating the rest of tech.
Which software stocks does Ponsi like here? Let's start with the largest player in the space, Microsoft (MSFT) - Get Report . For the past eight months, Ponsi points out that Microsoft has consistently bounced every time it's pulled back to its floor of support at the 50-day moving average, which measure's the stock's short-term trajectory. Ponsi says that's made an excellent buying opportunity, although with Microsoft up nearly five bucks from those levels here, you might need to be patient before you pull the trigger.
In fact, right now Ponsi thinks that Microsoft is pretty overbought. The Relative Strength Index, an important momentum indicator, is currently at 81, and traditionally, any reading above 70 is considered overbought territory, meaning the stock's come up too far too fast. Ponsi notes that when Microsoft's gotten overbought in the recent past, your best course of action has been to wait for the stock to come back down. If history's any guide, you'll get your chance to buy this one closer to the 50-day moving average.
Salesforce.com (CRM) - Get Report , has also been on fire, as you can see from its daily chart. Ponsi points out that Salesforce has also been finding support at its 50-day moving average, but more importantly, the stock has spent the past month forming a bullish consolidation pattern. It's done so on low volume, which Ponsi says is pretty normal. Right now he thinks traders are waiting for Salesforce to break out to the upside on high volume, at which point he expects them to start buying it aggressively again.
Finally, Adobe Systems, the digital media and marketing software company that's been embracing the cloud and moving into artificial intelligence. Adobe's up more than 30% year-to-date, and appears to be emblematic of what's working in the software space. Ponsi particularly likes that, a couple of weeks ago, Adobe broke out from an ascending triangle pattern to reach a new all-time high, and it's been making more new highs ever since. But if you don't already own it, Ponsi suggests waiting for Adobe to pull back to its super short-term 20-day moving average, where it's found support in the past. At the moment, that floor is at about $31, down four bucks from where the stock's currently trading, but since this is a short-term moving average, it should catch up pretty quickly even if the stock doesn't come down.
The bottom line? The charts, as interpreted by Ed Ponsi, suggest that this tech rally is being fueled, in large part, by broad-based strength in the software space and could be far from over.
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At the time of publication,
, which Cramer co-manages as a charitable trust, was long AAPL, GOOGL and FB.