Shares of leading semiconductor player Nvidia Corp. (NVDA) - Get NVIDIA Corporation Report have been on an absolute war path so far in 2017! This stock has exploded to the upside, with shares up a victorious 71% in the last six months. This monster uptrend is showing no signs of slowing with the stock currently trading just a few points off its 52-week high of $174.56 a share.
So what's fueling all that upside momentum for the chip king? Nvidia is benefiting in a major way from the rise of Bitcoin, which is remarkably setting a new all-time high as I write this. Bitcoin is now trading above $4,700, and that epic run has now put the entire cryptocurrency market cap at a staggering $170 billion.
To put things into perspective, Apple Inc. (AAPL) - Get Apple Inc. (AAPL) Report has a market cap of $846 billion and Facebook Inc. (FB) - Get Facebook, Inc. Class A Report has a market cap of $497 billion. Bitcoin alone has a market cap somewhere in the neighborhood of $70 billion, which is close to Netflix's (NFLX) - Get Netflix, Inc. (NFLX) Report market cap of $75 billion. Since Bitcoin is considered a form of money, the cryptocurrency has a long ways to go to reach the valuation of the U.S. Dollar. The last figures from the Federal Reverse valued the monetary base at around $3.8 trillion, including coins and deposits.
Make no mistake about it, Nvidia and competitor Advanced Mirco Devices Inc. (AMD) - Get Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. Report have been two of the biggest equity winners off the Bitcoin and Ethereum boom, since they make the high-powered chips that make it possible for computer geeks to conduct large-scale mining operations.
The good times are far from over, since another massive wave is about to hit the cryptocurrency market that will fuel the next leg higher for the fancy chip stocks. This coming trend is the reason that NVIDA and AMD bulls should continue to love these stocks, even considering the lofty Bitcoin valuation and nosebleed all-time high prices.
That trend is blockchain. A blockchain is basically a decentralized public ledger in which transactions are made in Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency. I will spare you the technical details, but if you don't think blockchain is the next wave, then just consider the recent news from Burger King. Burger King announced earlier this week that it was jumping into the cryptocurrency market by launching its own virtual coin called "WhopperCoin" in Russia.
Bitcoin is the present, but blockchain is the future. The blockchain trend is still in its infancy, so let's take a look at the technical picture for NVDA and see if it's flashing a buy or sell signal.
If you take a look at the chart for NVDA, you'll notice that this stock has been uptrending incredibly strong over the last four months, with shares moving higher off its low of $95.31 to its recent high of $174.41 a share. During that uptrend, this stock has been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action.
Shares of NVDA are ripping higher on Thursday right off its 20-day moving average of $165.29 a share with decent upside volume. This spike off the 20-day is now quickly pushing shares of NVDA within range of triggering a big breakout that would push this stock above its recent sideways and consolidated price action.
Traders should now look for long-biased trades in NVDA if this stock manages to break out above some key near-term overhead resistance levels at $170 to its 52-week high of $174.41 a share with strong volume. Look for a sustained move and close above those levels with volume that hits near or above its three-month average action of 20.74 million shares. If that breakout hits soon, then this stock should continue on its war path to $200, and ultimately trend well north of $200 a share.
Traders can simply stop out of this play if NVDA moves back below its 50-day moving average of $160.79 a share, or below more near-term support levels at $157.23 to $152.78 share. Pick the stop that's right for your position size, but don't miss getting long NVDA here, the blockchain wave is coming and the company is positioned to benefit huge.
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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.