Letting the Chips (Stocks) Fall Where They May: A Mixed Bag

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- One characteristic of the 2014 stock market has been the volatility of individual stocks. The semiconductor industry is an example of that.

The Market Vectors Semiconductor ETF (SMH) has 24 components, and 11 of them have traded lower since my March 25 post, Semiconductors Are Leading the Market, even though the exchange-traded fund set an all-time high on Wednesday.

Today's post could have the same title as the PHLX Semiconductor Index (SOX) leads all indexes with a year-to-date gain of 14%, followed by utilities (up 11%) and transports (up 9%).

The S&P 500 is setting all-time intraday highs almost every day, but is up just 4.3% year to date. The laggards are the Nasdaq Composite index, (up 1.8%), Dow Jones Industrial Average (up 1%), and the Russell 2000 (down 2.8%). Stock picking has been difficult and that includes semiconductors.

Let's look at today's "crunching the numbers" tables for the semiconductor ETF. Five of the 13 gainers have double-digit gains since March 24, led by Skyworks Solutions (SWKS), up 25%, and Micron (MU), up 23%.

Among the 11 losers, two had double-digit losses, Xilinx (XLNX), down 16%, and Cree Inc. (CREE), down 21%.

My stock-specific profiles cover the five most popular stocks from these tables.

Applied Materials (AMAT) ($21.56), up 7.3% since March 24. The stock set a multiyear intraday high at $21.92 on Wednesday, well above its 200-day simple moving average at $17.99. The weekly chart is positive with its five-week modified moving average at $20.01, Monthly and quarterly value levels are $19.91 and $18.33, respectively, with no risky level which makes the stock a pure momentum play.

Broadcom (BRCM) ($37.07), up 17% since March 24. The stock gapped higher this week, trading as high as $37.14 on Wednesday. The weekly chart is positive with its five-week MMA at $31.81 and its 200-week SMA at $34.00. Monthly and annual value levels are $33.65 and $32.12, respectively, with a semiannual pivot at $35.10 and semiannual risky level at $42.19.

Intel (INTC) ($27.60), up 9.9% since March 24. The stock set a 52-week intraday high at 27.76 on Wednesday. The weekly chart is positive with its five-week MMA at $26.56 and its 200-week SMA at $23.26. Semiannual and annual value levels are $26.33 and $20.26, respectively, a weekly pivot at $26.94, and monthly and semiannual risky levels at $28.35 and $28.95, respectively.

Marvell Tech (MRVL) ($16.02), up 0.8% since March 24. The stock set a 52-week intraday high at $16.65 on April 1. The weekly chart is positive with its five-week MMA at $15.68 and the 200-week SMA at $13.75. Weekly and annual value levels are $15.19 and $13.97, respectively, with semiannual and monthly risky levels at $16.87 and $18.18.

Nvidia  (NVDA) ($18.88), up 2.3% since March 24. The stock set a multiyear intraday high at $19.46 on April 24. The weekly chart is positive with its five-week MMA at $18.46 and the 200-week SMA at $14.93. Semiannual and quarterly value levels are $17.65 and $14.31, respectively with a monthly pivot at $18.95.

Texas Instruments (TXN) ($46.85), up 0.6% since March 24. The stock set a multiyear intraday high at $49.77 on April 1. The weekly chart shifts to negative on a close this week below its five-week MMA at $46.11 with its 200-week SMA at $34.05. Weekly and semiannual value levels are $45.65 and $41.39, respectively, with a monthly risky level at $49.25.

Your investment policy among these stocks depends on whether or not you are a buyer on weakness or a seller of strength. We advocate using a good-'til-cancelled limit order to buy weakness to a value level or to sell strength to a risky level.

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 are listed in red.

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

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.

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

This table presents the EPS estimates including date and before or after the close, and where to buy on weakness and where to sell on strength.

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.

>>Read More: Intel Turns to Rockchip to Scale the Great Wall of China's Tablet Market

>>Read More: Clorox Insider Trading or More Golf Course Chatter?

>>Read More: Interpublic Is a Cash-Flow Cow

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

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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. He has been a professional in the U.S. Capital Markets since 1972, transferring his engineering skills to the trading and investment world.

Suttmeier has an engineering degree from Georgia Tech and a Master of Science degree from Brooklyn Poly. He began his career in the financial services industry in 1972 trading U.S. Treasury securities in the primary dealer community. He became the first long bond trader for Bache in 1978, and formed the Government Bond Department at LF Rothschild in 1981, helping establish that firm as a primary dealer in 1986. This experience gives him the insights to be an expert on monetary policy, which he features in his newsletters, and market commentary.

Suttmeier's industry licenses include, Series 7 and Registered Principal (Series 24). He has been the Chief Market Strategist for ValuEngine.com since 2008 and often appears on financial TV.

Click here for details on Suttmeier's "Buy and Trade" investment strategy.

Richard Suttmeier can be reached at RSuttmeier@Gmail.com

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