The agricultural chemical and fertilizer space has been under pressure for the last year, with stocks in the sector experiencing deep declines over the period. This year, there has been an attempt at stabilization, and two stocks in particular have been trading in consolidation patterns and looked prepared for technical breakouts.
Mosaic (MOS) shares fell over 50% from their March 2015 high to their low earlier this year, while Agrium (AGU) , a more diversified name in the sector, lost over 27% of its share value. These stocks have been forming triangle patterns on their daily charts, one under horizontal resistance and the other above horizontal support -- and in both cases they look poised to break out and rally higher.
Mosaic has been making lower highs under an extended downtrend line and above horizontal resistance in the $24 area. Moving average convergence/divergence is moderating in a similar triangle pattern, but the stochastic oscillator has made a bullish crossover above its center line. These are signs of neutral-to-slightly-bullish price momentum, but the volume and money flow indications are more bullish.
Volume this month has eclipsed the 50-day moving average of volume, and accumulation distribution and Chaikin money flow are both tracking higher and above their 21-period signal averages. The Bollinger bandwidth indicator at the bottom of the chart is at a level that reflects tight band compression and often precedes volatile moves in price.
The stock was up over 4% in Friday's session, finishing at its session high and above its 50-day moving average, and it looks like it is ready to make another assault on the triangle downtrend line. A break above it is a long entry point using a trailing percentage stop.
On the Agrium chart, the stock can be seen making a series of higher lows off the February low and below a level of static resistance in the $92 area, which is also the 38% retracement level of its 2015 high and 2016 low range. The momentum indicators are more bullish on this chart, with both the relative strength index and the MACD higher and above their center lines. Volume has been well below the 50-day average of volume, but Chaikin money flow is in positive territory, and the money flow index, a volume-weighted relative strength measure, is well into its upper range. Last month, the stock recaptured its 50-day moving average, and last week it retook the 200-day average, moving back up to close on Friday at its high and at resistance.
Agrium is a long candidate after an upper candle close above triangle resistance, using a trailing percentage stop.