Who Is Winning the Burger War?

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Almost everyone loves a good burger, and in today's economy, the six burger chains we profile today are seeing reasonable demand from consumers trying to save a buck. Four of the six have year-to-date gains and two have modest losses. Dow component McDonald's (MCD)MCD is fractionally higher.

We crunched the numbers to help you decide if and when to invest. Here are the six profiles, and today's 'Crunching the Numbers' tables follow.

Burger King (BKW)BKW ($25.70) is up 12.4% year-to-date and is down 8.1% from its March 13 high at $27.97, which puts the stock below its 21-day and 50-day simple moving averages at $26.48 and $26.09. The 200-day SMA is a major support at $21.88.

The weekly chart will end the week negative given a close below its five-week modified moving average at $25.85. Monthly and weekly risky levels are $27.11 and $27.99.

Jack in the Box (JACK)JACK ($58.28) is up a leading 16.5% year-to-date and is down 7.3% since setting an all-time intraday high at $62.90 on March 18. This puts the stock between its 21-day and 50-day SMAs at $59.78 and $56.80 which held at Tuesday's low.

The weekly chart is positive but overbought as Jack's last spring out of the box appears parabolic and a stock-specific bubble that's ready to pop. Quarterly and semiannual value levels are $57.44 and $42.57 with monthly and weekly risky levels at $58.45 and $64.46.

McDonald's ($98.35) is up just 1.4% year-to-date and is down just 0.7% since setting its 2014 intraday high at $99.07 on March 12. The stock is above all five moving averages shown in our first table.

The weekly chart is positive with the five-week MMA at $96.87. Monthly and quarterly value levels are $94.56 and $92.23 with a weekly pivot at $97.17 and annual and semiannual risky levels at $106.59 and $111.95.

Red Robin Gourmet (RRGB)RRGB ($72.13) is down 1.9% year-to-date and down 9.8% since setting its 2014 intraday high at $80.00 on Feb. 14. The stock has crossed its 21-day, 50-day and 200-day SMAs at $72.06, $71.73 and $69.33.

The weekly chart is shifts to negative with a close this week below the five-week MMA at $72.19. Quarterly and semiannual value levels are $71.07 and $64.49 with weekly and monthly risky levels at $80.09 and $87.81.

Sonic Corp.  (SONC)SONC ($22.05) is up 9.2% year-to-date and is down 6.4% since setting a multiyear high at $23.56 on March 26. The stock traded as low as $16.94 on Feb. 5, which was a test of its 200-day SMA at that time. Sonic closed Wednesday a penny below its 21-day SMA at $22.06.

The weekly chart is positive with its five-week MMA at $21.22. Given a weekly close below the five-week MMA the downside is to semiannual value levels at $14.51 and $12.30. Quarterly and monthly risky levels are $23.80 and $23.91.

Wendy's (WEN)WEN ($8.63) is down just 1% year-to-date, but is down 16% since setting a multiyear intraday high at $10.27 on Feb. 26 as the grill cooled at this burger joint. Wednesday's low at $8.42 just above its 200-day SMA at $8.37.

The weekly chart is negative with its five-week MMA at $9.05. Semiannual value levels are $6.80 and $6.60 with a quarterly pivot at $8.52 and weekly and monthly risky levels at $9.44 and $10.43.

Crunching the Numbers with Richard Suttmeier: Moving Averages & Stochastics

This table provides the technical status for the stocks profiled in today's report.

There are five columns with moving average titles: Five-Week Modified Moving Average, 21-Day Simple Moving Average, 50-Day Simple Moving Average, 200-Day Simple Moving Average and the 200-Week Simple Moving Average.

The column labeled 12x3x3 Weekly Slow Stochastics shows the pattern on each weekly chart with readings from Oversold, Rising, Overbought, Declining or Flat.

Interpretations: (stocks below a moving average listed in Red are below that moving average)

Five-Week Modified Moving Average (MMA) is one of two indicators that define whether or not a weekly chart profile is positive, neutral or negative. The other is the status of the 12x3x3 weekly slow stochastic.

A stock with a positive technical rating is above its five-week MMA with rising or overbought stochastics.

A stock with a negative technical rating is below its five-week MMA with declining or oversold stochastics.

A stock with a neutral technical rating has a profile that is not positive or negative.

The 200-Week Simple Moving Average (SMA) is considered a long-term technical support or resistance and as a "reversion to the mean" over a rolling three to five year horizon. (even Apple declined to its 200-week SMA in June 2013)

The 21-Day Simple Moving Average is a short-term technical support or resistance used by many hedge fund traders to adjust positions. A stock above its 21-day SMA will likely move higher over a rolling three to five day horizon and vice versa.

The 50-Day Simple Moving Average is also a technical support or resistance used by many strategists and commentators in financial TV.

The 200-Day Simple Moving Average is another technical support or resistance and I consider this level as a shorter-term "reversion to the mean" over a rolling six to 12 month horizon. (even Apple tested or crossed its 200-day SMA in nine of the last 10 years)

Crunching the Numbers with Richard Suttmeier: Earnings & Where to Buy & Where to Sell

This table presents the levels at which to buy on weakness and where to sell on strength.

EPS Date is the day the company reports their quarterly results.

EPS Estimate is the earnings per share estimate from Wall Street analysts.

Value Levels, Pivots and Risky Levels are calculated based upon the last nine weekly closes (W), nine monthly closes (M), nine quarterly closes (Q), nine semiannual closes (S) and nine annual closes (A). I have one column for pivots, which is a magnet for the period shown. The columns to the left of the pivots are first and second value levels. The columns to the right of the pivots are first and second risky levels.

Investors who wish to buy a stock should use a good-until-canceled GTC limit order to buy weakness to a value level. Investors who want to sell a stock should use a GTC limit order to sell strength to a risky level.

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

Follow @Suttmeier

This article represents the opinion of a contributor and not necessarily that of TheStreet or its editorial staff

Richard Suttmeier is the chief market strategist at ValuEngine.com.

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