The three top-performing stocks in the S&P 500 index in 2015 are showing signs of technical fatigue going into the new year, and their charts suggest a potential shift in momentum.
Netflix (NFLX) - Get Report was up 134% last year, making it the best-performing stock in the index, but shares were down 7.5% in December and are currently retesting a key support line and their 50-day moving average. The $115 level acted as resistance from September through the first half of November in 2014, and while the stock was able to break above it and rally to its early December high, momentum quickly reversed, and it returned to the resistance-turned-support level. Daily moving average convergence/divergence is overlaid on a weekly histogram of the oscillator, and it crossed below its centerline on both timeframes. Accumulation/distribution crossed below its 21-period signal average and is moving lower. These readings represent negative price and money flow momentum.
Shares of Amazon (AMZN) - Get Report were up 118% in 2015 but moved basically sideways for the last two months. The $680 level acted as resistance going into the end of the year, and while shares briefly moved above it during the holiday-shortened last week of trading, they closed below it on the final day of trading. Moving average convergence/divergence has been in bearish divergence to the horizontal movement of the stock price, and accumulation/distribution and Chaikin money flow has crossed into negative territory, suggesting that there was selling going into the end of the year.
Activision Blizzard (ATVI) - Get Report shares were up 92% in 2015, and they spent the last month trading under resistance in the $40 level and above a rising support line. This range compression has moved the Bollinger bands, a measure of standard deviation based on price, inside the Keltner channels, a measure of standard deviation based on average true range, a sign that the stock is experiencing a volatility squeeze and has the potential for a sharp unwinding move. Moving average convergence/divergence is once again in bearish divergence, and the money flow indicators are moving lower, suggesting a break will be to the downside.
These stocks have been powerful performers in the past, and any short-term weakness could be quickly bought, but they should be monitored for speculative short-term trading opportunities and their greater influence on the broader market.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.