U.S. stocks fell on Wednesday, but it certainly seems like it could have been worse. An apparent pause in trade talks led to a big reversal in the middle of the session, but equities rallied toward the end of the day. Given apparent news in the House of Representatives’ impeachment inquiry, it wouldn’t be surprising if more investors pulled their money out of the market.
The declines were relatively muted. The S&P 500 declined just 0.38%. Somewhat incredibly, that’s still that index’s largest decline in over a month. Investors now have mostly shrugged off Wednesday’s news and retail earnings on Tuesday that could have spooked a more cautious market.
The lack of selling in the past two sessions might suggest a market that still has room to run. If that is the case, Thursday’s big stock charts highlight three potential winners. All three look primed to make a move in some direction — and broader sentiment might well be the deciding factor.
Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) keeps grinding higher, and the first of our big stock charts suggests the rally could continue:
- Technically, the gains in the last few sessions look bullish. FB stock cleared a sideways wedge created from June lows, and a sideways triangle established by a late September pullback. A recent bounce of the 20-day moving average leaves more room for upside and suggests a near-term support level not far below current levels.
- Meanwhile, the cheaper mega-cap tech names continue to perform well. Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), and Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG,NASDAQ:GOOGL) all have rallied nicely in recent weeks. Facebook stock has benefited, and at less than 20x forward earnings backing out net cash, certainly has a fundamental case for further upside.
- But FB stock needs some help from the market, too. There are regulatory risks here, and fellow social media plays Snap (NYSE:SNAP) and Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) have fallen back in recent weeks. Meanwhile, this remains a 2020 story, as I wrote last month. The chart suggests there’s more fuel for the current rally, but broader investor sentiment likely needs to stay positive for FB, and other mega-cap tech winners, to keep gaining.
Perrigo (NYSE:PRGO) seems near an inflection point. A sell-off after Q3 earnings earlier this month creates one of Thursday’s big stock charts worth watching closely:
- There’s certainly a case that Perrigo stock can keep falling. The post-earnings fall pushed the stock through all three moving averages. The stock has held up in recent sessions, but it needs to keep doing so to avoid breaking the uptrend that’s held for several months now. Anything less means PRGO stock likely re-tests support at $46.
- Taking a broader view, there’s reason for caution as well. The monthly chart suggests that recent gains might be a “dead cat bounce.” PRGO stock has rallied since December, but the price reached that month represented a nine-year low. There’s still a worrisome pattern of lower highs and lower lows, and if Perrigo stock again reverses, that could signal a wave of profit-taking.
- Meanwhile, generic drugmakers like Teva Pharmaceutical (NASDAQ:TEVA) and Mylan (NASDAQ:MYL) have struggled as well. (TEVA admittedly has seen a nice bounce in recent weeks.) Perrigo aimed to split off its generic business to protect itself from those pressures, but delayed that plan after second quarter earnings in August. If generic stocks can keep their footing, PRGO perhaps can bounce back into its uptrend. If not, the recent history of the space suggests this year’s gains could reverse.
High-flying growth stocks like data preparation software developer Alteryx (NYSE:AYX) started falling in September. In just six weeks, AYX stock dropped over 35% on basically no news. But as the third of Thursday’s big stock charts shows, a rebound is underway — and that rebound creates a chart growth stock investors should watch closely:
- Clearly, this is a breakout in progress — and it’s a breakout with room to run. AYX stock has easily busted through moving averages, and done so of late on increasing volume. Buyers are flocking to the stock. With highs above $140, AYX can keep gaining.
- Fundamentally, AYX isn’t cheap. In fact, it isn’t even close. 2019 consensus estimates suggest the stock trades at 17x revenue and nearly 200x earnings. But growth has been spectacular in recent years: raised full-year guidance suggests revenue will increase 53-55% this year.
- From a broader standpoint, investors had prioritized growth over valuation until that category-wide sell-off in September. But growth stocks are coming back, with the likes of Shopify (NYSE:SHOP) and Roku (NASDAQ:ROKU) bouncing off late. AYX stock has been a bit slower to rally, and sits further below its highs than many growth names. With the growth profile still intact, it’s a prime pick for investors who believe the current bull market will continue — and that the optimism toward growth stocks will return.
As of this writing, Vince Martin has no positions in any securities mentioned.