Qualcomm(QCOM) - Get Report is the top gainer in the Nasdaq 100 in Wednesday's trading. The stock is surging more than 7% with the help of a strong bump in volume on news of its latest licensing deal with Chinese electronics company Xiaomi.
This news-inspired ramp has pushed the stock back up to a very heavy resistance zone. A churning period, quite possibly very short-term, may be ahead before Qualcomm convincingly takes out the $53 area. Investors should eye a consolidation pattern for a low-risk entry as the battle with this key area develops. Once through, the stock will be set up well for a fresh rally leg.
TheStreet's Jim Cramer, co-manager of the Action Alerts PLUS portfolio, told viewers of Wednesday's "Mad Dash" segment on CNBC that after a year of being downbeat on Qualcomm, he is now recommending the stock as a buy. On Tuesday's "Stop Trading" segment, Cramer pointed to a "quiet bull market and breakout developing in the semiconductors" that he said could pull the entire tech sector higher, but he also mentioned Tuesday on Real Money that Qualcomm and Micron(MU) - Get Report were the only two chip stocks that had "really failed to rally here."
After Wednesday's Xiaomi news, however, Cramer said Qualcomm is now a buy -- "even up here." The Xiaomi deal is just the "beginning of the deals that will be made," he said.
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From a technical perspective, today's rally has completely reversed Qualcomm's Nov. 18 breakdown. Shares fell more than 9% that day on extremely heavy trade after South Korea alleged that the company was violating competition laws. The stock fell to fresh 2015 lows on the news, but there were no further losses. Qualcomm began to consolidate immediately as the stock reached its deepest oversold moving average convergence/divergence reading since 2010. As investors began to take advantage of new 52-week lows, the stock appeared completely exhausted on the downside.
It's a bit early to call, but Qualcomm is quite possibly leaving behind an important low. The stock began December more than 35% below its 2015 peak. The losses in just November reached 19% as shares tumbled from an overbought daily MACD reading. There is no question that the stage was set for a turnaround, and with today's ramp, Qualcomm may be in the initial stage.
In the near term, investors should keep a close eye on the $53 area. A short-term consolidation pattern in this area would offer Qualcomm bulls a low-risk entry opportunity. A surge right past the $53 area, which includes the August, September and October lows as well as the 2012 bottom, would be a very impressive show of strength.
Disclosure: This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author was long QCOM.