Without a doubt, 2018 has been a blockbuster year so far for shareholders of e-commerce behemoth Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) .

Even as the broad market got hammered with a correction at the start of February, Amazon has been holding up incredibly well. Year to date, this tech giant is up more than 26%, besting the rest of the S&P 500 by more than 10-to-1.

On Tuesday shares got another shot in the arm, up more than 1.3% in part on news that the firm will give Prime members with the company's Visa card 5% back on purchases from Whole Foods. Walmart's (WMT) weak fourth quarter earnings report is also fueling Amazon bulls. 

As Amazon the company takes its latest step towards total retail domination, Amazon the stock is taking a major step toward breakout territory.

To figure out how to trade it, we're turning to the chart for a technical look:

At a glance, it's been hard to miss Amazon's technical trajectory in recent months. You don't need to be an expert technical trader to see that the trend has been clearly up and to the right.

Shares hit their head on a near-term ceiling at $1,475 before retracing alongside the rest of the broad market in February. Now that key level is being tested.

As of this writing, Amazon is holding strong around the $1,480 level, a price tag that if held into the close would signal a clear-cut new buy signal in this e-commerce behemoth.

Relative strength, the indicator down at the bottom of Amazon's price chart, adds some extra upside confidence to this price setup. Amazon's relative strength line has been in an uptrend of its own since October, signaling that shares aren't just climbing here, they're also systematically outperforming the rest of the stock market. That fact makes Amazon statistically predisposed to keep on beating the broad market as long as the relative strength uptrend remains intact.

That's not to say that risk management isn't key here -- it still is, especially in light of the recent selling in the broad market. The 50-day moving average has been a decent (if delayed) proxy for Amazon's trendline since this past fall. That makes it a logical place to park a protective stop if you decide to pull the trigger on shares of Amazon here.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.

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