Thursday’s gain felt a little too strong to trust, and sure enough, it didn’t last. The S&P 500 fell 0.66% on Friday, leaving it squarely in the middle of equally important support and resistance levels.
General Electric (NYSE:GE) was the proverbial problem child. It fell more than 3%, logging its seventh loss in eight sessions as worries about its turnaround resurfaced. Smaller Nektar Therapeutics (NASDAQ:NKTR) posted the decidedly larger loss though, giving up nearly 30% of its value after the company reported a production issue with one of the drugs in a key trial right now.
One noteworthy winner … Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN) rallied 6% on the heels of news it has won a case involving the patent on its Enbrel. There just weren’t enough names like Amgen to finish the week on a high note.
As the new trading week kicks off, take a closer look at the stock charts of News Corp (NASDAQ:NWSA), Xilinx (NASDAQ:XLNX) and Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD). They’re all positioned for major moves, with just the right nudge.
Gilead Sciences (GILD)
For the better part of June and July, Gilead Sciences was working on a break above a couple of different resistance levels. Although they were tough, a move above them could mark the beginning of a prolonged move higher. Unfortunately, before that advance had a chance to fully take hold, it petered out in the latter part of July.
It may be too soon to give up on GILD stock just yet though. Last week it found support at a (very) familiar spot, and in the meantime we’ve moved to within reach of what could prove to be a hugely catalytic technical event.
Click to EnlargeThe support is the floor that lines up all the key lows since the end of 2018, marked in white on both stock charts. Gilead shares pushed up and off that floor last week, ending the pullback.
- Thanks to June’s big jump following a broad rally effort since March, the purple 50-day moving average line is close to crossing above the white 200-day average … a so-called “golden cross” that may spur more buying.
- The weekly chart puts things in perspective. The loss since 2015 has been significant. The same weekly chart shows the stock is also on the verge of breaking above a couple different long-term resistance lines driving that downtrend. One is marked in blue, and the other red, tagging all the key highs going back for years.
Xilinx shares have been fighting a losing battle since July 24, when a budding rally quickly rolled over and turned into a selloff. Broad concerns about trade with China and specific concerns about its relationship with Huawei up-ended the bullish effort.
The selloff initially looked manageable. Although the dip wasn’t small, shares hinted as if they would find support where they most needed to (and where they did the last time support was found). Thursday’s sharp gain largely solidified the bullish backdrop. Friday’s big stumble, however, may have cemented more weakness in place.
Click to EnlargeThe line in the sand is the 200-day moving average, plotted in white on both stock charts. XLNX broke that support in a big way on Friday, logging its lowest close in weeks to end the week.
- The volume for the past two weeks is problematic for the bulls too. The selling has been on high volume, and the one good day in the midst of the rout — Thursday — was clearly on below average volume.
- Last week’s selling has also pulled Xilinx to within striking distance of a key Fibonacci retracement line near $102. It may not break it with a straight-line move, but it’s still vulnerable to such a breakdown.
News Corp (NWSA)
It was wholly inspired by its fourth-quarter earnings beat. Nonetheless, News Corp shares demonstrated impressive technical strength on Friday, finding support where it ideally would. The big move carried shares to a huge line in the sand as well, and though it didn’t push shares past that line, NWSA stock is perfectly positioned to punch through that mark this week. It may just need to peel back a little bit first to get a good running start.
Click to EnlargeThe line in question is right around $13.77, marked in yellow on both stock charts, near where NWSA peaked on Friday as well as in late June.
- The rally, however, ultimately started on Wednesday with a hammer-shaped reversal bar that found technical support at the gray 100-day and white 200-day moving average lines.
- It would be easy to overlook in the midst of the volatility, but the purple 50-day moving average line moves above the 200-day moving average last month, pointing to a well-established uptrend.
As of this writing, James Brumley did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. You can learn more about James at his site, jamesbrumley.com, or follow him on Twitter, at @jbrumley.