Nvidia Corp. (NVDA) is withering Friday, down nearly 6% at $155 at midday after reporting earnings that disappointed Wall Street. That means Nvidia has lost more than 11% of its market value since peaking intraday at $174.56 on Tuesday. Brutal.
But if you sell this momentum favorite here, you're probably making a huge mistake. Nvidia's weakness is a buying opportunity -- and shares could be ready to rocket even higher, eclipsing this week's high-water mark again in August. To figure out how to trade it, we're turning to the charts for a technical take. First, though, a recap of Nvidia's earnings.
Nvidia beat Wall Street's expectations for the second quarter, handing out an adjusted $1.01 profit per share vs. the 81.5-cent earnings that analysts were expecting. But growth numbers were less impressive than Wall Street was hoping for -- analysts were expecting the chipmaker to stun them with mind-blowing performance and guidance.
The numbers Nvidia ended up generating were simply, "very good." Which wasn't good enough for Wall Street, based on the price reaction Friday.
Thing is, this week's dip in Nvidia is far from a reason to panic. This isn't a capitulation -- it's barely even a correction. We're talking about a stock that's still up 183% in the last 12 months. With the latest stumble factored in, Nvidia is still the best-performing S&P 500 component over the last year, and shares would need to truly freefall to lose that title.
In other words, Nvidia is still the undisputed king of momentum in 2017.
And the chart confirms it:
At a glance, it's not hard to see that Nvidia's trend in recent months has been up and to the right. In fact, shares have been forming an ascending triangle pattern, a bullish price setup formed by horizontal resistance to the upside (right around the $170 price level that shares have struggled to materially exceed since May), and uptrending support to the downside.
Basically, as shares of Nvidia have bounced around in between those two technically important price levels, this stock has been getting squeezed closer and closer to a meaningful breakout above that $170 level.
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Thing is, with Nvidia hovering right around $170 to start this week, earnings needed to "wow" Wall Street to move higher. In other words, we were staring down a much more difficult move than if shares were sitting where they are now. So a modest dip in NVDA wasn't just possible, it was downright likely, heading into earnings.
More importantly, with the ascending triangle setup still in play right now, Nvidia has the opportunity to hand investors breakout gains in August if shares can catch a bid above $170 after the broad market rebounds.
Simply put, it's going to take a lot more than a 4% earnings dip to derail Nvidia's monster momentum this year. A break above $170 is the signal that buyers are still in control of shares.
(This column has been updated with early afternoon stock prices.)
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