Will Kroger's Earnings Report Stop the Grocery Bubble from Popping?

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Grocery store giant Kroger (KR) has been on a strong momentum run-up since the week of Sept. 14, 2012. Investors will see that this price pattern on its weekly chart shows an inflated parabolic bubble that may be popping since the stock set its all-time intraday high of $77.74 on March 23. The stock has been trading sideways to down since then, making its upcoming earnings report extremely important.

Analysts expect Kroger to earn $1.21 a share before the opening bell on Thursday. On Tuesday, Oppenheimer raised its first-quarter earnings estimate to $1.21 to match the consensus. Oppenheimer maintained an "outperform" rating with a price target on $80.

Whenever a momentum stock is about to report earnings, it's extremely important for investors to consider technical analysis in addition to fundamental analysis. This is what we provide in our must-see charts and key levels at which to buy on weakness and to sell on strength.

Here's the daily chart for Kroger.

Courtesy of MetaStock Xenith

Kroger closed at $72.35 on Tuesday, up 12.7% year-to-date, but 6.9% below its all-time intraday high. The stock has been above its 200-day simple moving average since Feb. 20, 2014 when this average was $38.44. The stock is currently on the cusp of its 50-day simple moving average of $72.35, and above its 200-day simple moving average now at $65.25.

Here's the weekly chart for Kroger.

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