BALTIMORE (Stockpickr) -- Yesterday's big leg up for long-suffering tech stocks is sending an important message to investors to start the week: The tech correction could be coming to an end.
All the big indices that got punished the hardest over the last two months ended up getting bid the highest in Monday's session. Two big examples are the Nasdaq Composite, which climbed 1.8% between the open and close, and the small-cap centric Russell 2000 rallied a whopping 2.4%. A return to tech sector leadership is presenting an interesting opportunity for traders too; with attractive setups getting ready to break out in a growing number of tech names in May, investors should give this convalescing space a second look.
That's why we're taking a closer look at the technical setups in five big technology sector charts today.
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.
Up first on our list of breakout tech names is Cellcom Israel (CEL), a $1.25 billion Israeli telecom stock. CEL has been a momentum name for the last year, rallying more than 32% since May 2013. But shares have traded sideways more recently, failing to make higher highs since the middle of November. That sideways consolidation isn't a cause for concern in CEL, however. It's setting up for another leg higher.
Cellcom is currently forming an ascending triangle pattern, a bullish setup that's formed by resistance above shares at $14 and uptrending support to the downside. Basically, as CEL bounces in between those two technical price levels, it's getting squeezed closer and closer to a breakout above $14. When that breakout happens, we've got a buy signal for this stock.
Momentum adds some secondary evidence to the bullish bias in CEL right now. 14-day RSI broke its downtrend back in February, and it's been making higher lows since then. Considering the fact that momentum is a leading indicator of price, that's an auspicious sign for patient buyers. When $14 gets taken out, higher ground becomes a high-probability trade.
T-Mobile US (TMUS) is another name that hasn't done much of anything in 2014. Since the calendar flipped to January, T-Mobile has shed around 4%, underperforming the S&P 500's meager 2.6% climb. But zoom the picture out again, and TMUS starts looking a whole lot more attractive again.
T-Mobile is currently forming the early stages of an inverse head and shoulders pattern, a classic technical setup that indicates exhaustion among sellers. The pattern is formed by two swing lows that bottom out around the same level (the shoulders), separated by a bigger trough called the head; the buy signal comes on the breakout above the patterns neckline level, currently right at $34.
Even though TMUS hasn't formed its right shoulder yet, the trading implications are exactly the same even if shares push through $34 now. $40 is the upside target to watch for after the breakout. When it happens, keep a tight stop in place.
Loral Space & Communications
We're seeing the exact same trade developing in shares of small-cap satellite communications company Loral Space & Communications (LORL). Like T-Mobile, LORL is in the early stages of an inverse head and shoulders pattern, in this case with a neckline level at $80. Even though the inverse head and shoulders typically forms at the bottom of a downtrend (and LORL's setup is near the top of its recent trading range), the move through $80 is the buy signal to watch out for, textbook or not.
Why all the significance at $80? It all comes down to buyers and sellers. Price patterns 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 for LORL's stock.
The $80 resistance level is a price where there has been an excess of supply of shares; in other words, it's a spot 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 $80 so significant the move means that buyers are finally strong enough to absorb all of the excess supply above that price level.
You don't have to be an expert technical trader to figure what's going on in shares of TE Connectivity (TEL), though. A quick glance at this chart should be enough to tell you everything you need to know. Since last fall, TEL has been a "buy the dips stock" -- and as shares test their long-term trend line in May, we're coming up on another very buyable dip.
Since last September, TEL has been bouncing higher in an uptrending channel, a pair of parallel trend lines that have given traders a very high probability range for shares to remain with. Put another way, an ideal buying opportunity has come up for TEL bulls every time this stock has bounced off of trend line support along the bottom of the channel. Now, with shares testing that line for the sixth time, it makes sense to buy the bounce.
Waiting for a meaningful bounce off of support is crucial for two big reasons: it's the spot where shares have the furthest to move up before they hit resistance, and it's also 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 TEL can actually still catch a bid along that line before you put your money on shares.
Fidelity National Information Services
Last but not least is Fidelity National Information Services (FIS), a $15 billion payment technology stock that's showing traders another textbook uptrend this week. Just like with TEL, all you need to do is buy the bounce in FIS -- and with shares catching a serious bid to start the week, FIS is definitely in "buy mode" here.
Relative strength adds some important backup for a buy signal in FIS. That performance indicator has been in an uptrend since back in August, a signal that FIS is continually outperforming the S&P in good times and in bad ones.
If you decide to go long here, I'd recommend putting a protective stop just below this stock's most recent swing low at $52. As long as that $52 support level remains intact, the uptrend is alive and well. If that changes, it doesn't make sense to own FIS anymore.
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.