Qualcomm and Apple have a love/hate relationship. While two companies are engaged in legal battles, Apple still uses Qualcomm-sourced modems in some of its iPhones, and pays hefty licensing fees for Qualcomm's patents (though Apple is suspending royalty payments to Qualcomm until their dispute is resolved in court).
Qualcomm's earnings after the bell today should provide an interesting update on the state of the feud.
While all eyes are on the battle between the two tech giants, there's a buy signal kicking off in Apple this month.
Think Apple's massive 30% rally is over in 2017? Think again.
Apple's positive momentum has been substantial this year. The firm has added approximately $180 billion to its market capitalization since the calendar flipped to January, accounting for a material chunk of the broad market's overall performance year-to-date.
Apple doesn't report earnings until August, but Wall Street is feeling confident about the quarter. On average, analysts are expecting a $1.57 profit for Q3, a number that represents a nearly 14% profit boost over last year's consensus bet for quarterly earnings.
Additionally, Apple has bested every third-quarter earnings estimate since back in 2012, a strong track record indeed.
More importantly, in the short-term, Apple's technical trajectory points to more upside ahead. Have a look:
Apple's price action is unmistakable this summer -- and you don't need to be an expert trader to decipher the buying opportunity that's showing up in shares.
Instead, the price pattern in Apple this month is just about as basic as they get. Apple has been bouncing its way higher in a slightly parabolic uptrend since the middle of last summer, catching a bid on every successive test of trendline support.
In other words, Apple is still very much a "buy the dips" stock this summer, and shares just showed off another buyable dip at the start of July.
Relative strength adds some extra confidence to Apple's upside. That's because our relative strength line has been holding onto an uptrend of its own since last summer, an indication that Apple is still outperforming the broad market, even now. That means that Apple remains more likely than not to keep on outperforming from a statistical standpoint.
For Apple investors thinking about getting in here, risk management is crucial. Shares made an important swing low back at the start of the month, confirming the uptrend for the fifth time -- that low just above $140 is a logical place to park a protective stop. Simply put, if Apple violates the $140 level, then the uptrend is busted, and downside risk is elevated.
Until then, it still makes sense to buy the dips in Apple.
Apple's shares rose 0.5% to $150.89 by Wednesday's close, while Qualcomm's fell 2.8% to $54.73.
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This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author was long Apple.