Bitcoin bulls are celebrating. Everyone's favorite cryptocurrency just blasted through a new intraday record high at $5,233.95 Thursday morning, bringing the digital currency's total performance to around 595% from its January lows. That's some staggering performance.
Even if you've never owned bitcoin before, that rocketing price action in the cryptocurrency market could translate into a massive rally in a more conventional trade. I'm talking about shares of graphics chip maker Nvidia Corp. (NVDA) - Get Report .
Nvidia is a bitcoin play because the firm's GPU chips are used to "mine" for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
And, it turns out, bitcoin could just be the tip of the iceberg for unconventional upside opportunities in shares of Nvidia -- the incredible wave of adoption of artificial intelligence and machine learning is another major opportunity that could spell long-term upside for Nvidia. That's because Nvidia's high-performance GPUs are the most popular class of chip used to train and run complex AI models, as they can perform the computations needed much faster than conventional CPUs.
All of that means that Nvidia's 79% total return so far in 2017 could get a lot bigger by the end of the year. And the price action proves it:
Nvidia's uptrend hasn't been linear this year. Instead, shares' price trajectory shifted back in early May, when NVDA went from correction-mode back to rally-mode. Currently, shares are forming an ascending triangle pattern, a bullish continuation setup that signals the potential for more upside ahead in this stock.
The ascending triangle in NVDA is formed by horizontal resistance up above shares at $190, with uptrending support to the downside. Basically, as Nvidia bounces in between those two technically important price levels, shares have been getting squeezed closer and closer to a breakout through that $190 price ceiling. When that happens, we've got our buy signal.
Relative strength, a measure of Nvidia's outperformance over the broader market, has been in an uptrend of its own since that May trend reversal point, signaling that Nvidia isn't just keeping pace with the S&P 500 here -- it's trouncing it. As long as that relative strength uptrend remains intact, NVDA remains predisposed to outperform the rest of the market.
The 50-day moving average has been acting like a reasonable proxy for NVDA's uptrending support level stretching back to the middle of this summer. From a risk-management standpoint, that relationship makes the 50-day a logical place to park a protective stop, if you decide to go long NVDA on the $190 breakout.
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This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.