Must-See Charts: BP, MGM, NTT

BALTIMORE (Stockpickr) -- A major rally in the S&P 500 and the Dow have pushed the stock market considerably higher in the last two months.

Now, with both broad-based indices -- and hundreds of Wall Street's most heavily traded stocks -- hitting 52-week highs, it's time to turn to the technicals to see where we should be making our market bets.

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Technical analysis uses a stock's price movements to determine where shares are headed in the future. Technical charts are used every day by proprietary trading floors, the Street's biggest financial firms and individual investors to get an edge on the market.

According to some sources, skilled technical traders can bank gains as much as 90% of the time.

So which major stocks are worth looking at through a technical lens?

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Here's this week's look at how some of the biggest names on Wall Street are trading technically.

BP ( BP) has been in the news this week thanks to Congress' oil spill commission meeting on Tuesday and renewed rumors of a potential BP takeover by ExxonMobil ( XOM).

While BP had already confirmed that it's been in talks to divest some of its assets, the London-based oil giant denied that it's in talks with Exxon. Regardless, the increased news has certainly spurred an uptick in trading of BP's shares. Now, with the stock sitting at a key level, higher ground could be coming soon for shareholders.

>>Also: 10 Energy Stocks Trading at Discounts

To be sure, 2010 has been a rough ride for BP. At present, shares of the company are down more than 25% from beginning-of-the-year price levels, the result of BP's role in and subsequent liabilities due to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Even though the financial obligations BP faces are still far from pinned down, a bullish breakout could at least bring higher share prices in the near-term.

>>Also: 10 Energy Stocks Headed Higher

Right now, shares are consolidating below the 200-day moving average, testing overhead resistance. If shares of BP can manage to make their way above the 200-day, this stock will be devoid of a major upside barrier. Expect traders to be watching closely for a breakout above that level. Still, don't put your cash on the line until shares open above the 200-day.

MGM Resorts International ( MGM) is another stock that's seen increased trader attention lately.

In MGM's case, that upward pressure has been the result of bullish earnings numbers from casino stocks with exposure to gaming properties in Macau. Now, though, that rally may have run its course.

Shares of MGM are forming a potential double-top pattern right now as shares approach highs from early last month. If this stock fails to move above resistance, expect shares to fall back down to at least the $11.60 level before finding any semblance of support.

>>Who Owns MGM?: John Paulson

Right now, the chances of a breakout above that resistance level are looking bleaker because of the market's overbought status of late. For that reason, traders will likely be looking to short MGM barring any unexpected fundamental news.

That said, I wouldn't recommend going short just yet. The popularity of casino stocks has already proven that unfounded rallies can get sparked easily -- especially during earnings season, when good numbers at one company can spur industry-wide buying.

>>Also: 10 Cheap Sin Stocks From the Vice Fund

If you want to trade MGM, I'd suggest waiting for confirmation (in the form of two consecutive opens down or an open above the horizontal blue line above) before entering a trade in either direction.

As the name suggests, Nippon Telegraph & Telephone ( NTT) is the leading phone company in Japan. At present, it boasts the leading fixed-line and wireless presence as well as a strong share of high-speed internet customers. But it was an unexpected jump in profits that sent shares moving in a classic breakout pattern yesterday.

NTT had been forming an ascending triangle pattern for the last month, held below staunch resistance at $23 as higher lows squeezed share prices up against that artificial price ceiling. A nearly 12% rise in profits for fiscal second-quarter 2011 sent shares above that resistance level, triggering the ascending triangle breakout and prompting big buyers to take notice.

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This company saw three times more trading volume than the norm yesterday, as this normally tight-ranged stock saw volatile intraday swings on the heels of the breakout. The ascending triangle points to higher prices for this company, but don't consider buying shares unless this company can keep its head above $23 for the entirety of today's market action.

To see this week's trades in action, check out the High Volume Technicals portfolio on Stockpickr.

-- Written by Jonas Elmerraji in Baltimore.


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At the time of publication, author had no positions in stocks mentioned.

Jonas Elmerraji is the editor and portfolio manager of the Rhino Stock Report, a free investment advisory that returned 15% in 2008. He is a contributor to numerous financial outlets, including Forbes and Investopedia, and has been featured in Investor's Business Daily, in Consumer's Digest and on

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