AAPL, GOOG, AMZN and MSFT – Tech Sector Giants Turn Laggards

It’s said that a fractured market is an unhealthy market. The reverse is true and based on the recent string of index highs the market appears healthy. However, some former tech giant leaders are starting to wane. What does this mean?

The S&P 500 and Dow Jones eeked out a new all-time high this morning, the S&P MidCap 400 recorded a new all-time high last Thursday. The Russell 2000 came within 0.08% of a new all-time high. The Nasdaq Composite recorded a new recovery high on Thursday while the Nasdaq-100 remains below last years recovery high.

On the surface the string of new highs/recovery highs is bullish and shows that the major indexes are firing on all cylinders. A humming engine is less likely to stall. However, there are some early issues that may soon illuminate the “check (stock market) engine light”.

While broad indexes remain strong (with the exception of the Nasdaq-100), individual stocks are showing signs of fatigue. In fact, prior tech giant leaders are turning into laggards.

Google (GOOG)

The February 12 article “Will Google Continue to Climb?” highlighted the dashed green support line and support at 760 and stated that the rally will continue as long as prices remain above 760 or dashed green trend line support.

Google broke below support in mid-March and now trades nearly 5% below its all-time high. The 50-day SMA is at 788 and should offer some support.

Apple (AAPL)

We all know about AAPL’s historic ascent and decline, but last week it appeared as if AAPL could stage a small comeback. The log chart shows a brief break out above the down hill parallel channel followed by a bearish relapse. A close below the 20-day SMA at 442 could unlock much lower prices (a shockingly low possible target was just revealed in last night’s Profit Radar Report).

Amazon (AMZN)

Amazon’s chart doesn’t offer any particular insight from a technical analysis perspective, but we take note that AMZN is more than 6% below its all-time high already.

Microsoft (MSFT)

Microsoft has been stuck in a 13-year trading range. MSFT just hit a year-to-date high, but is well below its 2012 high, which incidentally occurred in April.

Summary

It’s said that a fractured market is an unhealthy market. Aside from the lagging Nasdaq (primarily caused by Apple), there are no obvious fractures on the broad market index level.

The waning leadership within the large cap sector though is an early warning sign. The S&P 500 is not far away from key resistance (price target) and key support. A move to hit resistance or below support will be a sell (as in go short) signal.

Last night’s Profit Radar Report featured a specific rally target and the must hold support.

Technical Analysis – Will Google Continue To Climb?

Google is trading at an all-time high but momentum is vanishing and RSI is showing two bearish divergences. This alone isn’t a sell signal, but a break below support should be.

A stock that’s trading at all-time highs has little overhead resistance and an unobstructed view to even higher prices targets.

After a truly nasty 18% selloff in October/November 2012, Google soared to new all-time highs. What’s next from here?

Like any other momentum move, Google’s momentum run will eventually take a breather. A number of indicators suggest that any upcoming correction may be more on the shallow side.

But there’s no law that says you need to suffer through corrections hoping that it remains fleeting and short-lived.

The chart below shows a dashed green trend line. A break below would be a first warning sign. A close below the horizontal support line at 760 would open the door to further losses.

Our last Google update (Will Google’s Fumble Take Down the Entire Technology Sector) was posted on October 19 (dashed vertical gray line) and said:

GOOG trading volume was through the roof as prices tumbled below the 20 and 50-day SMA and a couple of trend lines. Prices generally stabilize somewhat after large sell offs like this before falling a bit further. A new low parallel to a bullish price/RSI divergence would be a near-term positive for Google.”

The down side risk for Google and the entire tech sector was limited as the article pointed out that: “Next support for GOOG is around 660 and 630. The Nasdaq Indexes and the Technology Select Sector SPDR (XLK) has been much weaker than the Dow Jones and S&P 500 as of late. There were no bearish divergences at the recent S&P and Dow highs. This lack of indicators pinpointing a major top limits the down side of the tech sector.”

The lower green lines represent support at 660 and 630. Following a period of stabilization in late October, Google fell as low as 636 against a bullish RSI divergence and has been rallying ever since.

There’s no solid evidence that Google’s run is over, but RSI at the bottom of the chart is showing signs of fatigue and bearish divergences on multiple timeframes.

Bearish divergences can go on for a while and in itself are no reason to sell, but the bearish divergences combined with a close below 760 would point towards more weakness and could be used as a signal to go short for aggressive investors.

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AMaZiNg – 3,893 Tech Sector P/E Ratio Is Back

Quadruple digit P/E ratios – like 3,893 – were thought to be in the past. Courtesy of America’s premier online retailer we just got a flash from the past. Does that mean it’s time to party like it’s 1999?

Triple and quadruple digit P/E ratios of the late 1990s are fond memories for some and nightmares for others.

Regardless of your memories, the fifth largest component of the Nasdaq-100 just hit a P/E ratio of 3,893. Who is this ‘bubbleishous’ tech stock? Amazon.

Talking about nightmares, Amazon has become a nightmare to brick-and-mortar retailers. Amazon is spending tons of cash to make sure Amazon’s e-commerce site haunts brick-and-mortars day and night.

As the chart below shows, Amazon’s revenue (green columns) has grown steadily, but net income has taken a hit as profits are reinvested into new warehouses, called ‘shipment hubs.’

In 2012, Amazon added 20 shipment hubs, which decreased shipment costs from 4.5% of sales to 5.4% of sales (about $430 million).

Amazon’s gross margins widened from 20.7% to 24.1% and investors applauded the aggressive expansion, sending AMZN to an all-time high.

AMZN accounts for only 1.02% of the SDPR S&P Retail ETF (XRT), nevertheless, XRT is also trading at an all-time high.

Does this validate a P/E ratio of 3,500+ though? It’s a classic scenario of ‘mind over matter.’ As long as investors don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.