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Intel Earnings Preview: The Must-Know Levels in Both Directions

Intel is set to report earnings. After its recent pullback, will the quarterly results accelerate the decline or help erase it?

Intel  (INTC) - Get Intel Corporation Report didn't have a very impressive finish to 2020. However, it’s been a different story in 2021, with shares roaring back to life.

Will the stock be able to maintain that momentum when it reports earnings on Thursday after the close of trading?

When Nvidia  (NVDA) - Get NVIDIA Corporation Report kicked off its GTC Conference on April 12, shares ripped higher and ultimately climbed to new 52-week highs.

In fact, the stock is giving us the exact setup we were looking for earlier this month.

In any regard, April 12 is the exact day that Intel stock hit a 52-week high, then reversed and closed lower by more than 4%. The reversal came on fears that Nvidia will be coming after Intel’s market share, a matchup Intel bulls don’t want to see.

Including the stock’s 0.75% loss so far on Thursday, shares have declined in seven of the previous nine trading sessions.

Will earnings hurt or help Intel stock?

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Trading Intel

Daily chart of Intel stock.

Daily chart of Intel stock.

In late October, Intel stock retested its coronavirus selloff lows from the first quarter of 2020. That wasn’t a good sign, particularly as other tech stocks were performing pretty well.

However, the stock has been on a robust rally so far this year, nearly surpassing its 2020 highs.

After the latest dip though, the stock is back below the key $64 level and struggling to hold the 10-week and 50-day moving averages.

Unless we have an unchanged post-earnings reaction, it likely means Intel stock is in a make-or-break position ahead of the print. At least in the short term. 

On a bearish post-earnings reaction, look for a close below this week’s low at $62.30. That puts sub-$60 in play and specifically the 100-day moving average and the March low.

Both of those marks come into play near $58.

On the upside, look for a move back above $65. That will put Intel back over the key $64 level, as well as the 21-day and 50-day moving averages.

That will put the April high on the table at $68.49, followed by the prior all-time high at $69.29.