Over the past few trading sessions, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has seen some weakness. Well, okay — it has at least taken a break from printing record high after record high. But where does that leave Dow Jones stocks and the SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (NYSEARCA:DIA) from here?
The DIA is hovering near $235, but sporting a relative strength index (RSI) of about 80. The RSI is a reading between 0 and 100, which measures how overbought or oversold a security is. Generally, a reading under 30 suggests a security is oversold, while a reading over 70 suggests it’s overbought.
Investors should not use the RSI as their only metric. However, when using the RSI in combination with other factors, it can help traders determine when a stock is nearing exhaustion, both on the upside and downside.
With that said, have a look at the DIA right now. While it no longer sports a 90 RSI — meaning very overbought in the short-term — it’s still near 80. Historically speaking, the other overbought readings of this year led to a pullback or sideways consolidation in the exchange-traded fund.
So while it may not mark the top necessarily, it could be a good time for investors to consider trimming gains, selling covered calls or perhaps even some bear call spreads. If the MACD, which measures momentum at the bottom of the chart (yellow circle), turns negative, then it’s quite likely we will get some sideways chop at the minimum.
Let’s take a look at the seven most overbought Dow Jones stocks right now. Many of these stocks are highly correlated to the economy.
The strengthening of the economy is an important tone underneath many of these big rallies and it should not be underestimated.
Although earnings have been great, with two-thirds of the Dow Jones already reported, what’s left to drive it to the upside?
Overbought Dow Jones Stocks: 3M Company (MMM)
3M Co (NYSE:MMM) has had a great year, climbing 30% so far in 2017. However, those gains have driven shares up to lofty heights. MMM stock still sports an RSI of about 77, despite falling from its $240 highs. Before Thursday’s fall, MMM stock had an RSI of about 90.
The company reported strong earnings in late-October, helping to propel the stock to new all-time and 52-week highs. So what was so great?
MMM beat earnings-per-share and revenue expectations, growing sales 6% year-over-year, the most growth in any quarter in quite some time. Further, 3M upped its full-year outlook on earnings and revenue growth. Beat and raise? That’s the recipe for a higher stock price.
Because the earnings were good and investors clearly liked the results, I wouldn’t bank on a massive pullback any time soon. Maybe shares will “fill the gap” back down to about $223, but even then, I would expect MMM stock to work off its overbought condition through consolidation rather than a correction.
Shares now trade with a trailing price-to-earnings (P/E) multiple of 26.7 and a forward multiple of 24.3. I agree that 3M deserves a premium, but for a 2% yield, 6% earnings growth next year, 5% sales growth and an RSI near 80? MMM’s upside seems limited in the near-term.
Overbought Dow Jones Stocks: Caterpillar (CAT)
Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT) has a similar story to 3M Company. After a strong earnings report, CAT stock saw a healthy jump despite already posting big gains so far on the year. CAT stock is now up 49% in 2017 and 66% over the past 12 months.
Now that the global economy is clearly accelerating, industrial and cyclical stocks are back in favor. I think that’s a big catalyst investors are overlooking. They look at names like MMM and CAT. They see the big year-to-date gains and have a preconceived notion that they are “dog stocks.”
As a result, they want to short or part ways with their holdings.
I’m not saying there’s a ton of upside left in the short-term — after all, CAT is up big — but there could be more room to run over the long-term than investors realize. We’ve lacked economic momentum for so long that many investors forgot what it’s like when times are good.
Analysts expect earnings to grow another 22% next year, justifying its 17.7 forward P/E ratio. Its 2.28% yield isn’t bad, either.
Its chart is certainly in overbought territory though. CAT stock sports an RSI reading of 83, and that’s after its recent pullback. But this is a perfect example about why the RSI isn’t the only reading to consider. In mid-September, Caterpillar entered overbought territory. That was near $125-per-share. Now? CAT is at $137.
The RSI can be a great indicator, but it’s not the only one to consider. At some point though, CAT stock needs to chill.
Overbought Dow Jones Stocks: JPMorgan Chase (JPM)
The banks have done well in 2017 and JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE:JPM) is no exception. Others like Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC), Wells Fargo & Co (NYSE:WFC) and Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS) have also done well this year. Incidentally, Goldman is in the Dow, as well.
Anyway, like CAT and other cyclical stocks, the banks are big beneficiaries of an improving economy. As the economy strengthens, people spend more money. They buy bigger homes, new cars and travel more. Businesses take out loans and increase M&A. Everyone’s feeling good and that bodes well for big banks.
JPMorgan’s latest earnings (and the banks in general, honestly) reflect that sentiment. Business is good and confidence is high. While trading revenues were light, that’s okay. The economy is healthier and that’s just as, if not more important.
Its stock is now over $100-per-share, climbing ~15% from its September lows. JPM stock is now up 18% for the year. This group just keeps on winning. However, JPM now sports an RSI reading of 78. The first overbought reading on the chart came just after the election. There was a surge of buying that allowed JPM stock to push through an overbought condition for about a month.
However, the two other times it happened? JPM stock went lower. Yes, those indeed led to buying opportunities, but the correction came first. Another may be on the horizon.
Overbought Dow Jones Stocks: Wal-Mart Stores (WMT)
Despite its ever-intensifying battle with Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), Wal-Mart Stores Inc (NYSE:WMT) has actually done pretty well. In fact, considering the monumental shift in retail, WMT is doing really good.
One thing Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST) has always done a great job at? It has paid its employees well and given them good benefits.
As a result — and Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX) uses this blueprint as well — employee turnover is low and thus Costco saves money overall. WMT is taking a page from COST now. Over the last few years, it has made an effort to raise employee compensation. While it has a massive employee base and thus will incur a large expense, it’s what’s needed to not only lower long-term training costs, but also improve the customer experience. This has been vital to Costco’s success.
Between that rising expense and its $3 billion acquisition (and further free-cash flow expense) of acquiring Jet.com, Walmart is undergoing a series of changes. Everything it’s doing is to prepare itself for retail 2.0. It doesn’t get the “valuation pass” that Amazon gets, but it’s certainly outperforming its peers.
WMT stock is up 25% in 2017 and about 50% from its lows in late-2015. It trades at 19 times forward earnings estimates, but it is worth the premium as it’s the most likely retailer to last the race with Amazon.
With its gap-and-go over $82, WMT stock now trades just under $89. It has an RSI of 76 and momentum could be waning. Shares could consolidate soon or possibly even fall. But keep in mind, investors might ride the name into Black Friday or even the holidays, given that the fourth-quarter is so important for retailers.
Look to see whether momentum fades on WMT stock over ensuing days and weeks.
Overbought Dow Jones Stocks: Nike (NKE)
Management said it expects high single-digit sales growth over the next five years to go along with mid-teens earnings growth. This is very reassuring (particularly the earnings forecast) for investors.
Just recently, I laid out the bull case for Nike. But admittedly, if it couldn’t find a way to accelerate earnings growth, its valuation appeared to be too high.
It’s looking to expand its direct-to-consumer footprint, improve its supply chain and production and shake up its retail strategy. It includes a partnership with Foot Locker, Inc. (NYSE:FL) and sent shares of Under Armour Inc (NASDAQ:UA, NASDAQ:UAA) to new 52-week lows.
Amazon and Walmart are the retailers positioning for the next generation of shopping. But in situations like Nike, it’s the brands that will ultimately matter. Thankfully, Nike is one of the best on that front, even as Adidas AG (ADR) (OTCMKTS:ADDYY) is chomping away at its market share right now.
On the charts, Nike’s jump has pushed its RSI reading to 76. Its stock was up just about 5% so far on the year before this two-day move. It has some catching up to do with the Dow’s 18.5% YTD rally. Previously high RSI readings have been bad for Nike. Let’s see if it can extend much further before resting and continuing.
Keep in mind, Nike will report earnings in mid-December and NKE stock could rally into the event.
Overbought Dow Jones Stocks: Intel (INTC)
Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) has been on fire as of late, climbing 28% over the last two months. On Friday, those gains were extending as Intel hit new 52-week highs after reporting better-than-expected earnings.
Despite its massively overbought status — currently sporting an RSI near 90 — shares are rallying again.
How could it not, though? Intel beat on EPS and revenue estimates. It also raised its full-year outlook for earnings and sales. I would buy more of it too if I were an institutional investor building on a larger position.
But circling back to Intel, what do we do now? The stock still pays a 2.5% dividend yield, which is surely attractive. But if we’re looking for a new position in Intel, I think we have to pass for the time being. Several analysts are out slapping $50 price targets on INTC, but it has already been on a monster run. I really question how much could be left in the tank before INTC pulls back or consolidates for a bit. It might even make more sense to “buy the rumor” and chase NVDA into earnings rather than “buy the news” on Intel.
Overbought Dow Jones Stocks: Microsoft (MSFT)
Intel isn’t the only one that reported earnings recently. In fact, so did Amazon, Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT). Amazon beat and so did Alphabet, paving the way to a big rally in tech on Friday.
For MSFT, the company beat EPS and revenue expectations. MSFT stock is catapulting to new 52-week and all-time highs as a result. This move is gratifying, as we’ve been on the MSFT bull train all year. Investors have been looking for the run to end, but there was no reason for it to.
As Microsoft builds out high-growth businesses on the back of its legacy businesses, more and more of its revenue is coming from these high-growth areas (like the cloud). This is driving overall revenue growth higher as these businesses become larger. While Microsoft may carry a higher valuation compared to its historical past, it still trades at a lower valuation than other cloud players like Alphabet, Google and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA).
The jump to $86 is great for MSFT bulls. But it pushes an already high RSI even higher. Momentum could also be nearing an end, as its MACD approaches its previous highs of the year. I don’t know how far MSFT will rally, but its upside seems like it will be limited by the overbought nature of its chart.
This could be said for most of the names featured in this story. It doesn’t include stocks like McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD), Boeing Co (NYSE:BA) or Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) right now. But it might if they find some mojo between now and year’s end. After most have reported impressive earnings though, what good news could be left to drive the Dow significantly higher?