The performance of UnitedHealth Group (UNH) - Get Report has lagged the general sector this year by about 6.5%.

The company has little debt and a P/E multiple of 10.5. The question of future growth and how it will be affected by health care reform in this country is problematic. The technical picture, however, is much clearer.

The weekly chart shows that the stock has spent most of the year in a basing/consolidation pattern, and that strong resistance at the $30 level has been decisively broken.

This recent breakout has a target projection to the $40 range. A 30% move is not likely to happen overnight. There will be, at some point, a retest of support and "backing and filling" along the way.

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A breakout from such a long period of congestion, however, usually has more validity than one less defined and of a shorter duration. The level that was once strong resistance, now acts as strong support for the trade.

Robert Moreno is a former member of the New York Cotton Exchange and the New York Board of Trade. He has traded for his own account for over 25 years. An experienced market technician and student of the art since the days of paper charts and manual computation, he authored a daily technical analysis information sheet popular with brokers and traders in the "pits." Currently, he is a General Partner at Wyckoff Investment Partners, LLC, which provides technical and fundamental research and analysis to traders and investors.