NEW YORK (Real Money) -- Johnson Controls (JCI) - Get Report shares were attracting very heavy trade Thursday following an upgrade from UBS analysts, who lifted the stock to buy from neutral, sparking a powerful upside gap. By the final hour of trading, JCI was stabilizing with a 3% gain and putting it second on the S&P 500's list of gainers.
Last month, following its second-quarter earnings report, JCI ramped up more than 3% on its heaviest trade in over a year. The surge pushed shares to fresh 2015 highs before piercing the 2014 peak of $52.50. Despite this breakout-type action into new all-time high territory, the momentum died quickly. Over the next 11 sessions JCI fell 10 times. This pullback dropped the stock back down to the middle of its 10-week range. Up until last Friday, JCI remained in a tight, low-volume range with little direction. As last week ended, the stock began to perk up with the help of a nice spike in bullish interest.
Now JCI is building on last week's improvement and is set up well for more upside. Supply near the April spike high is a battleground Thursday but I doubt this will hold back the stock for long. Despite trading back up near its all-time highs, shares are far from overbought. It would take quite a run for shares to return to the overbought levels reached in November and March.
I have a small long position in JCI and will look to add on weakness. The stock has a very solid layer of nearby support around the $51.75 area. This support zone includes the March high ($52) as well as today's upgrade-driven breakout gap ($51.60). If the stock needs a rest before clearing the April peak, I expect this area to hold. The stock is a low-risk buy for patient bulls.
Editor's Note: This article was originally published at 3:40 p.m. EDT on Real Money on May 28.
At the time of publication, Morrow had a position in JCI.