Stock Charts to Watch for Bulls AND Bears

by Daniel Putnam | March 28, 2012 11:13 am

Stock Charts to Watch for Bulls AND Bears

As the stock market moves ever higher, the opportunities to find compelling charts are becoming more difficult. Let’s face it: the vast majority of charts are showing either relentless strength, especially in technology and retail; or desultory underperformance, most notably in energy and materials[1].

Fortunately, there still are some chances for the technically inclined to find charts that appear set for sizable moves. Although compelling cases can be made both for and against[2] a continuation of the bull market, the following stocks can provide you with some beta no matter which way you’re looking to bet:

Charts for the Bullish

The large-cap health care giants might not be the most fertile ground for technicians, but the same isn’t true for the small- and mid-sized stocks in the sector. And right now, five stocks are on the verge of breaking out if the broader market can hold up:

1 300x173 Stock Charts to Watch for Bulls AND Bears
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Quest Diagnostics

NYSE:DGX[3]

Tuesday’s close: $60.62

52-week high: $61.47

Percent move needed for breakout: 1.4%

 

2 300x173 Stock Charts to Watch for Bulls AND Bears
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Varian Medical Systems

NYSE:VAR[4]

Tuesday’s close: $69.97

52-week high: $71.95

Percent move needed for breakout: 2.8%

 

3 300x173 Stock Charts to Watch for Bulls AND Bears
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DENTSPLY International

NASDAQ:XRAY[5]

Tuesday’s close: $40.09

52-week high: $40.37

Percent move needed for breakout: >1%

 

4 300x173 Stock Charts to Watch for Bulls AND Bears
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The Cooper Companies

NYSE:COO[6]

Tuesday’s close: $79.97

52-week high: $80.25

Percent move needed for breakout: >1%

 

5 300x173 Stock Charts to Watch for Bulls AND Bears
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Haemonetics Corp.

NYSE:HAE[7]

Tuesday’s close: $70.08

52-week high: $70.59

Percent move needed for breakout: >1%

 

6 300x173 Stock Charts to Watch for Bulls AND Bears
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Outside of health care, Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO[8]) stands out as an interesting technical play from the bullish side. The stock might be pushing the high end of its three-year valuation range, but it closed Tuesday at $71.87, surpassing several September intraday highs in the low- to mid-$71s. Technical factors are less likely to move a stock of this size than they would be for a smaller name, but there might yet be further upside[9] in this Dow stalwart.

NEXT: 6 Charts for Bearish Traders >>[10]

Charts for the Bearish

Materials and transportation stocks have lagged the market by a wide margin in recent weeks, so it’s no surprise that a number of stocks from these groups would be on the cusp of a breakdown. While many of these names have already experienced significant downside in the past 12 months, all are perched at key levels that could be violated if the broader market turns south.

7 300x173 Stock Charts to Watch for Bulls AND Bears
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Peabody Energy

NYSE:BTU[11]

Tuesday’s close: $29.85

52-week low: $29.78

Percent move needed for breakdown: >1%

 

8 300x173 Stock Charts to Watch for Bulls AND Bears
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James River Coal

NASDAQ:JRCC[12]

Tuesday’s close: $5.31

52-week low: $5.01

Percent move needed for breakdown: 5.6%

With respect to these two coal stocks[13], note that Alpha Natural Resources (NYSE:ANR[14]) broke below its early October low on Monday, while Patriot Coal (NYSE:PCX[15]) and Arch Coal (NYSE:ACI[16]) both established 52-week lows earlier this month — not the best sign for BTU and JRCC.

 

9 300x173 Stock Charts to Watch for Bulls AND Bears
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CH Robinson Worldwide

NASDAQ:CHRW[17]

Tuesday’s close: $65.35

52-week low: $62.30

Percent move needed for breakdown: 4.7%

 

10 300x173 Stock Charts to Watch for Bulls AND Bears
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Baltic Trading

NYSE:BALT[18]

Tuesday’s close: $4.11

Recent low: $3.79

Percent move needed for breakdown: 7.8%

 

11 300x173 Stock Charts to Watch for Bulls AND Bears
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Barrick Gold

NYSE:ABX[19]

Tuesday’s close: $43.80

52-week low: $42.50

Percent move needed for breakdown: 3.0%

 

12 300x173 Stock Charts to Watch for Bulls AND Bears
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Allied Nevada

AMEX:ANV[20]

Tuesday’s close: $31.49

Level to watch: $30.00

Percent move needed for breakdown: 4.7%

As with the coal stocks, the performance of these gold miners’ industry peers doesn’t bode well for Barrick and ANV. AngloGold Ashanti (NYSE:AU[21]), Kinross Gold (NYSE:KGC[22]), Gold Fields (NYSE:GFI[23]), IAMGOLD (NYSE:IAG[24]) and Harmony Gold Mining (NYSE:HMY[25]) are all among the many gold-related names that have established 52-week lows so far this month.

As of this writing, Daniel Putnam did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.

Endnotes:
  1. energy and materials: http://investorplace.com/2012/03/materials-energy-sectors-are-sending-up-warning-flares/
  2. for and against: http://investorplace.com/2012/03/the-bearish-case-vs-the-bullish-case/
  3. DGX: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=DGX
  4. VAR: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=VAR
  5. XRAY: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=XRAY
  6. COO: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=COO
  7. HAE: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=HAE
  8. KO: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=KO
  9. further upside: http://investorplace.com/2012/02/beverage-stocks-refreshing-returns-bud-ko-deo-fmx-pep/
  10. 6 Charts for Bearish Traders >>: http://investorplace.com/2012/03/stock-charts-to-watch-for-bulls-and-bears/2/
  11. BTU: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=BTU
  12. JRCC: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=JRCC
  13. coal stocks: http://investorplace.com/2012/03/coal-stocks-dont-get-burned/
  14. ANR: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=ANR
  15. PCX: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=PCX
  16. ACI: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=ACI
  17. CHRW: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=CHRW
  18. BALT: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=BALT
  19. ABX: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=ABX
  20. ANV: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=ANV
  21. AU: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=AU
  22. KGC: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=KGC
  23. GFI: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=GFI
  24. IAG: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=IAG
  25. HMY: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=HMY

Source URL: http://investorplace.com/2012/03/stock-charts-to-watch-for-bulls-and-bears/
Short URL: http://invstplc.com/1fuFtLe