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Is now the time to get back in momentum stocks?

Talking Numbers

A lot of popular momentum stocks have been crushed so far this year. But, is now a time to buy them cheaply?

Some of biggest highfliers of 2013 became the biggest losers of 2014. However, something curious has happened in the last week: A few of the highflying momentum names are up in the past few days.

Company 2013 returns 2014 ytd returns Week-to-date
Amazon +58.6% -25.4% +1.8%
Google +57.4% -4.7% +1.5%
Netflix +291.9% -4.4% +7.1%
Twitter N/A -50.5% +2.5%

 

Steve Cortes, founder of Veracruz TJM, thinks momentum stocks have bottomed out already and are headed up from here.

"I think there are a lot of opportunities," Cortes said. "It's very important that so far in May, they have not broken the late April lows. I think we're seeing a sign of price stability."

Cortes is long Twitter and Netflix but he particularly likes Google for its positive net income. "Most of the time when you're betting on these cool tech stories, you have to close your eyes and cross your fingers and hope that the profits come along," Cortes said. "With Google, you already have that."

(Watch: Is Google's tax policy evil?)

However, Richard Ross, global technical strategist at Auerbach Grayson, cautions investors about buying Google shares at current levels.

"I would be trading it very carefully here," said Ross, a "Talking Numbers" contributor. "Google is not typically a momentum-type stock per se like a Facebook or a Twitter. But, it really got those momentum-type returns. And, momentum cuts both ways as we know."

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After "gapping up" in October, the stock climbed to $615 from $487 per share in four months. The stock reversed course in early March and hit $511 by late April and early May.

"The slope of that decline – 16 percent – takes you to support at the 200-day" moving average, currently at $521 for Google, notes Ross. "Given the v-shaped nature of that selloff, I would have expected to see a sharper bounce thus far. The fact that we haven't gotten that bounce leads me to believe that we might see lower levels this summer as we head into a period of historically weak seasonality."

Google's long-term chart is also giving Ross reason to be pessimistic about the stock's prospects. Ross sees the price action from October to now as a parabolic top, with support at the 50-week moving average near $510 per share.

(Read: Google gets take-down requests after European court ruling -source)

"That's a real risk reversal," opined Ross. "Should that key support give way, that's definitely going to set the stage for lower levels."

"Bounces are usually higher than we think," Ross added. "But, the fact that it hasn't manifested itself makes me very skeptical about the potential for a real strong summer rally in these momentum stocks – and even tech bellwethers like Google."

To see the full discussion on Google, with Cortes on the fundamentals and Ross on the technicals, watch the above video.

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