Shares of Facebook (FB) were rallying Thursday, rising 6.5% on the heels of better-than-expected first-quarter earnings.
Facebook posted non-GAAP earnings of $1.87, besting the number analysts were looking for, on average, by 27 cents. Daily and monthly active users jumped by 8% apiece. Revenue jumped 26% from last year.
No doubt, it was a strong quarter - that's despite the fact that the company had to set aside $3 billion for an ongoing Federal Trade Commission inquiry.
But if Facebook's reaction in the market Thursday seems particularly outsized, it's for good reason.
This big tech stock opened up a major buy signal earlier this week, clearing the way for buyers to shove shares higher on any semblance of positive sentiment.
Now, Thursday's post-earnings gap higher puts Facebook considerably closer to a price target right around $220.
To figure out how to trade shares from here, we're turning to the charts for a technical look:
At a glance, it's clear that Facebook's $175 breakout had a big impact on this stock's upward mobility. Shares have shown textbook follow-through, closing in on prior highs around the $220 level. That's the next meaningful resistance level for Facebook from here.
While earnings were good - and clearly the catalyst for the stock's big move higher - the technical setup here has a lot to do with the size of the move.
From here, there's still nearly 14% upside left in shares of Facebook before they test resistance up around $220.
Importantly, the near-term technical picture jives with the longer-term technical right now.
The chart above shows a long-term look at Facebook's price action: namely, weekly bars of Facebook stretching back to the back-half of 2012.
Interestingly, shares have managed to trade in an extremely well-defined uptrend over that time horizon. While Facebook spent the stretch between 2014 and mid-2018 in the upper-half of its trend channel, the correction Facebook and the rest of the "FAANG" stocks faced in the latter half of last year ended precisely at long-term support.
It's worth noting that the return line in the middle of Facebook's price channel currently puts resistance in right around $220, the same level as the prior highs set back in 2018. The fact that two independent resistance levels hit the same spot lends credence to the idea that Facebook should have a relatively smooth path to $220 from here.
Near-term, look for some sideways consolidation after Thursday's post-earnings gap higher.
Longer-term, we could see a return to the top-half of Facebook's long-term uptrend, particularly if buyers feel emboldened by the recent return to rally-mode. Now looks like as good a time as any to own this big tech trade.