XAutoplay: On | OffThe Nasdaq composite, S&P 500 index and Dow industrials all rose slightly during Thursday’s regular session, with more stocks setting up new possible entries within sound bases. Here are six big-cap stocks that are within 1% of buy points: Amgen (AMGN), General Motors (GM), Visa (V), Mastercard (MA), ASML (ASML) and PNC Financial Services (PNC).
General Motors has a $54 billion market cap, and that’s the smallest of the six, with Visa No. 1 at $200 billion. Amgen, GM, Mastercard and ASML all edged past entry points intraday, but closed beneath them.
The market uptrend is under pressure, with earnings season kicking into high gear. So investors should be especially cautious about taking on new positions now.
Futures for the S&P 500 index, Nasdaq 100 and Dow Jones industrial average rose modestly late Thursday. S&P 500 and Dow futures climbed 0.1% above fair value while Nasdaq 100 futures advanced 0.2%.
Amgen rose 1% to 175.04 in Thursday stock market trading. The biotech’s stock rose as high as 176.20, briefly passing a 175.55 buy point in a cup-with-handle base, but couldn’t hold that level. Volume was below normal, though the highest in three weeks.
Amgen hasn’t been a market leader lately. Its relative strength line is well off recent highs, as Amgen lags the S&P 500 index. And several other biotechs, including Celgene (CELG) and Regeneron (REGN), have already broken out.
General Motors rose as high as 36.12 Thursday afternoon, briefly passing a 36.10 cup-with-handle entry. GM settled with a 1% gain at 35.86 in slightly above-average volume. Meanwhile, Fiat Chrysler (FCAU) and Volkswagen (VLKAY) cleared buy points Thursday, following a move by Ferrari (RACE) on Wednesday.
General Motors’ RS line has been lagging. Meanwhile, U.S. auto sales have peaked, though a shift to SUV and truck purchases is supporting profits.
Visa climbed to 96.65 intraday, a new all-time high, but not quite triggering the 96.70 buy point from a flat base. Visa reversed to closed down 0.25% at 95.94.
Mastercard edged up 19 cents to 125.47, rising intraday to 126.40, briefly topping the 126.29 flat-base entry.
Volume was below average for both Visa and Mastercard, but their RS lines are near highs, reflecting their strong performance and short consolidations.
Visa has earnings next week, along with a few other card firms such as American Express (AXP), which is still in range from a June breakout.
Meanwhile, JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Citigroup (C), Wells Fargo (WFC) and PNC Financial could provide insight into credit card trends Friday with their second-quarter earnings reports and conference calls.
The chip-equipment giant fell 0.1% to 136.85. But for the second straight day ASML inched past a 137.37 buy point in a flat base going back nearly two months. ASML’s RS line is near highs, a good sign.
ASML will report quarterly earnings next week.
PNC Financial is a superregional bank. It may be overshadowed by the money center banks JPMorgan, Citigroup and Wells Fargo, but PNC is expected to deliver a 10% EPS gain, while its larger rivals deliver essentially flat profit. PNC rose 0.1% to 127.38, as it builds toward a 128.35 entry in a shallow cup-with-handle base.
JPMorgan is still in range from a double-bottom base, while Citigroup is extended. Wells Fargo is close to a buy point from a cup-with-handle pattern.