BALTIMORE (Stockpickr) -- Yesterday's price action no doubt added some anxiety to investors and traders alike as stock indices shed points for the second consecutive day. All told, the S&P 500 index, one of our favorite proxies for the broad market, has already slid 2.65% this week. That's the sharpest multiday decline in stocks we've since November.
But as I've mentioned in the past, that isn't in and of itself cause for concern. After all, the absence of vigorous pullbacks for the last several months is a fairly clear sign that we've been due for a correction. The question is how long it will last.
Since the broad market is a reflection of its constituent stocks, it's time to take a look at how some of the most heavily traded stocks on Wall Street are trading technically. In case you're not familiar,
uses a stock's price movements to determine where shares are headed in the future.
Technical charts are used every day by proprietary trading floors, the Street's biggest financial firms and individual investors to get an edge on the market. And according to some sources, skilled technical traders can bank gains as much as 90% of the time.
Here's this week's look at how some of
When equities struggle, it's key to think about market correlations: Which assets appreciate when stocks are under pressure? One of the most popular (aside from gold) is oil. And thanks to continued unrest in the Middle East, the prices of oil and its producers have been on the rise. One of the biggest names in the game is
, Brazil's mammoth integrated oil and gas firm.
Yesterday, shares of Petrobras staged a full-on breakout, opening and closing above the resistance level that shares had failed to move beyond on their last three attempts. The safe trade in PBR would have come mid-day yesterday, when volume and price action confirmed that the break would hold for the day. That said, it's not too late to get in on this play.
I suspect that we'll see continued upside in PBR. Despite the magnitude of yesterday's 5.27% rally, it's likely that shares will continue to appreciate in step with oil to end the week. A bullish moving average crossover adds some assurance of the strength of Petrobras' bulls right now. If you do decide to go long Petrobras, I'd suggest placing a protective stop just below resistance; $38 looks like a good option.
Petrobras is one of the top holdings of
, at 3.5% of the total portfolio. According to Karvy Global, it's one of
has been in the news this week following yesterday's shareholder rejection of a proposal that would have forced the company to publicly outline a succession plan. The decision is a good indicator of the faith that investors have in Apple's management team -- and why not? Shares of this $316 billion tech firm have rallied 70% in the last 12 months alone. Now the technicals point to further gains for iShareholders.
That's because of the channel up that shares of Apple have been forming since back in September. In the past, shares have found
no fewer than three times -- and they look primed to do the same thing for a fourth.
Helping matters is a dual support level at the 50-day moving average. I'd recommend waiting for a bounce higher off of the support channel before actually entering a position in shares of Apple. That move confirms the stock's technical outlook and significantly increases the chances of a successful trade.
Apple shows up in various Stockpickr professional portfolios, including those of
, at 1.3% of the total portfolio, and
, at 5.6% of the total. It's one of the
, as well as one of
Of course, not all stocks are sending bullish signals right now. Yesterday, shares of
hit their lowest intraday levels since back in December, falling below the consolidation range that they'd been trading within for a month. The move is likely to result in lower prices this week, particularly given the market's already-corrective bent.
With the next relevant support level right around $4.20, shares of Citi could fall considerably before any abundance of demand steps in to buoy share prices. That said, I'd recommend waiting for a stronger indication of Citi's sell-off before betting against shares -- this stock is sitting just below resistance right now, too close to justify going short outright. When the stock confirms its intentions, consider a protective stop just above $4.70.
Citigroup is the top holding of
, comprising 9.4% of the total portfolio, and is also owned by
, at 3.8% of the total. It was one of
and according to Dan Freed is one of the
To see this week's trades in action, check out the
-- Written by Jonas Elmerraji in Baltimore.
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At the time of publication, author had no positions in stocks mentioned.
Jonas Elmerraji is the editor and portfolio manager of the Rhino Stock Report, a free investment advisory that returned 15% in 2008. He is a contributor to numerous financial outlets, including Forbes and Investopedia, and has been featured in Investor's Business Daily, in Consumer's Digest and on MSNBC.com.