BALTIMORE (Stockpickr) -- Yesterday was a tough session for technology stocks. While the broad S&P 500 index slid 0.49% during Monday's trading, the tech-heavy Nasdaq dropped more than double, with a 1.18% loss on the day.
That's troubling for investors trying to catch stocks' momentum run in 2014 -- the tech sector has driven some of the market's biggest gains in the last 15 months. But added flux doesn't have to be a bad thing; this correction in tech stock pricing is providing some big opportunities in some big tech names this week.
Today, we'll take a technical look at five of them.
For the unfamiliar, technical analysis is a way for investors to quantify qualitative factors, such as investor psychology, based on a stock's price action and trends. Once the domain of cloistered trading teams on Wall Street, technicals can help top traders make consistently profitable trades and can aid fundamental investors in better planning their stock execution.
Without further ado, let's take a look at five technical setups worth trading now.
First up is electrical component maker TE Connectivity (TEL), a name that's certainly been in the momentum camp in the last year. Over those past 12 months, TEL has rallied more than 42%, besting the S&P 500's climb by a factor of two. Don't worry if you've missed the upside so far -- this stock looks like it has further to run.
That's because the long-term uptrend in TEL has evolved into a textbook ascending triangle pattern, a bullish price setup formed by horizontal resistance above shares at $60 and uptrending support to the downside. Basically, as shares bounce in between those two technically significant levels, it's getting squeezed closer and closer to a breakout above resistance at $60. When that happens, we've got our buy signal.
Relative strength has been looking strong in TEL over the last few months -- and that's critical right now. When the broad market is kicking into corrective mode, relative strength is the single most important indicator you can have in your toolbox.
Shares of social networking giant Facebook (FB) got shellacked yesterday, dropping 4.67% over the course of the trading session. But that drop doesn't mean you should run for cover if you own this stock. In fact, it means we're coming up on a big buying opportunity in FB today.
Facebook's chart is about as simple as it gets. The firm has been bouncing higher in an uptrending channel since the end of November, and yesterday's selloff puts FB back at the trend line support level that's acted like a buying opportunity each time it's been tested. This week, the time to buy comes on a bounce off of that support line.
Waiting to buy off a support bounce makes sense for two big reasons: It's the spot where shares have the furthest to move up before they hit resistance, and it's the spot where the risk is the least (because shares have the least room to move lower before you know you're wrong). Remember, all trend lines do eventually break, but by actually waiting for the bounce to happen first, you're ensuring FB can actually still catch a bid along that line before you put money on the line.
We'll see if a bounce holds up in today's session.
Finnish handset maker Nokia (NOK) has been a consistent huge volume name in the last year, as big new items drive trading volume. But while plenty of shares of Nokia have changed hands in the last several months, they haven't gone anywhere. Instead, NOK has been trading sideways in a range since mid-September.
But that's exactly what makes this stock a high-probability trade right now. Here's how to trade it.
NOK is forming a rectangle pattern, a price setup that's formed by a pair of horizontal resistance and support levels that basically "box in" shares between $8 and $6.50. Rectangles are "if/then patterns." Put a different way, if Nokia breaks out through resistance at $8, then traders have a buy signal. Otherwise, if Nokia violates support at $6.50, then the high-probability trade is a sell.
There are some indications that NOK could be the latter: our momentum gauge, 14-day RSI, has been trending lower since the rectangle pattern started. That means down days are getting the better of up days in NOK, even as shares attempt to move higher. It's not a sell until $6.50 gets tripped, but if it does, look out below.
We're seeing the exact same setup in shares of another phone maker, BlackBerry (BBRY).
Like Nokia, Blackberry is consolidating sideways in a rectangle pattern, just in the shorter-term. For BBRY, the key levels to watch are resistance at $11 and support at $9. Here again, when shares break outside of that range, the high-probability trade is to bet in the direction of the breakout.
Why is that the case? It all comes down to buyers and sellers. Patterns like the rectangles in BBRY and NOK or the ascending triangle in TEL are a good quick way to identify what's going on in the price action, but they're not the reason a stock is tradable. Instead, the "why" comes down to basic supply and demand.
The $11 resistance level, for instance, is a price where there has been an excess of supply of shares; in other words, it's a place where sellers have previously been more eager to step in and take gains than buyers have been to buy. That's what makes a breakout above $8 so significant -- the move means that buyers are finally strong enough to absorb all of the excess supply above that price level.
Last up is $5 billion solar and semiconductor stock SunEdison (SUNE). SunEdison has been a big momentum mover in 2014, rallying hard as the rest of the solar space heated up this year. But now, shares of SUNE are starting to look "toppy."
SunEdison is currently forming a double top, a bearish reversal pattern that sounds just like it looks. The double top is formed by a pair of swing highs that max out at approximately the same price level. The sell signal comes when the trough that separates the two highs gets violated. For SUNE, that breakdown level is right at $19. A drop below $19 means that it's time to be a seller (or go short).
The double top in SUNE has been forming in the short-term, and that means that it also has short-term trading implications; if there's a silver lining to this stock's bearish price action, that's it. Support at $14 could be hit by the time buyers step back into shares, so if you're thinking about being a buyer, your best bet is to wait for this stock to catch a bid again.
To see this week's trades in action, check out the Technical Setups for the Week portfolio on Stockpickr.
-- Written by Jonas Elmerraji in Baltimore.