Amid the menacing headlines from Ebola in Africa to Russian tanks on the Ukrainian border and a slowdown in Europe, it’s worth remembering that the U.S. economy is generating some serious heat right now.
The ISM composite PMI activity index — a mouthful that measures both factory and service sector activity — has increased to 58.4% in July for the highest reading in nine years. And it looks like the rebound is home grown with evidence of a long delayed surge of capital expenditure by companies, with Caterpillar (CAT) and Fastenal (FAST) both posting an acceleration in North American monthly sales.
Neither of those companies is getting credit at the moment for their good deeds in the U.S. economy, which makes them prime candidates to monitor for potential strength later as the positive cap-ex story becomes better known.
But one American name I am recommending right now is the quintessential U.S. tech company: Apple (AAPL).
This is a somewhat seasonal play as Apple tends to do very well at this time of year as investors begin to bet on the likelihood of a strong new product lineup to be introduced in September. The buzz is starting to warm up for the company’s release of new iPhones early next month. You can be cynical about it, as I am, and yet be prepared to ride the wave of hype.
The weekly chart shows its excellent uptrend in weekly bars since mid-year, and, of course, its rise over the past year as well.
Buy AAPL at $95.10 as a way to play a seasonal trend and a strengthening U.S. economy and hold for my initial short-term target $101.50. Set a stop-loss to exit positions if AAPL closes below $92.10, but the stop is active after 11 a.m. ET only to avoid getting caught up in the early-trading dust-ups.
Jon Markman operates the investment firm Markman Capital Insights. He also offers a daily trading advisory service, Trader’s Advantage, and CounterPoint Options, a service that helps individual traders make steady, consistent profits with volatility-related instruments.