The semiconductor sector performed extremely well during Tuesday's powerful tech rally. The iShares PHLX Semiconductor ETF (SOXX) - Get Report finished the session at new 2016 highs after gaining over 2.4% on the day. Intel (INTC) - Get Report was one of the better performers in the index, with a 2.75% gain on its heaviest upside trade in over a month.
Despite this impressive rally, Intel still faces a wall of resistance just above Tuesday's closing price. If the bulls can drive the stock past the $31.50 area in the next few sessions, investors should turn much more positive on the action.
Up until Tuesday's 2.75% gain, Intel had spent all of May in a very narrow range as it repaired the damage from the April 29 breakdown. The stock fell over 2.5% that day after opening the session with an ugly downside gap. This breakdown-type move left behind a very heavy resistance zone in its wake. Intel has been struggling under the weight of this area since then, but with the help of yesterday's ramp, it will soon attempt to clear it out.
It will take a close above the $31.50 level to clear the resistance zone that includes Intel's April 29 breakdown gap, multi-week lows from March and April and both the 50- and 200-day moving averages. Once this area is cleared, the stock has plenty of upside room to run. If more back-and-fill action is needed ahead of a fresh bull leg, investors should consider the stock a low-risk buy between $30.60 and $29.50. A close back below $29.50 would violate the May low indicating a new rally leg is still quite a ways off.
Disclosure: This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author was long INTC.