The clearly strained relationship between President Trump and Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell spurred a wave of worry on Friday, sending the S&P 500 lower to the tune of 2.59%.
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) led the way, falling 4.6% as it’s one of the more vulnerable names to newly imposed or re-imposed tariffs on goods in, or shipped to, China. As Wedbush analysts Daniel Ives and Strecker Backe wrote, Trump’s vocal response to comments from Powell were “a clear shot across the bow at Apple and the semi space.” Foot Locker (NYSE:FL) did even more net damage though, falling nearly 19% after falling short of last quarter’s sales and earnings estimates.
With nothing more than a passing glance, it would be easy to chalk up the recent action from Nike to simple volatility. It’s a company in transition that has been impacted by trade tensions with China as well as relationships with controversial people and political ideas.
Regardless of the reason, the reality is, each stumble has taken a toll on the stock. The selloff since July has pushed NKE to a brink, and it has done so after another red flag started to wave. In short, Nike has been losing its bigger picture momentum, and is en-route to net-bearish momentum.
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The make-or-break line is the floor that connects most (though not all) the major lows since early 2018. It’s marked with a light blue line on both stock charts.
- Although the broad uptrend technically remains intact, notice Nike shares have stopped making higher highs. The last two peaks make a double top right around $90, marked in red on both stock charts.
- It’s a subtle clue, but the MACD chart’s strong of lower peaks and lower subsequent lower crossunders also points to a gradual loss of momentum, and transition to bearishness.
Software company Intuit has been one of the market’s biggest, even if mostly overlooked, winners since the beginning of 2017. The advances have been prolonged, and sizeable, driving an incredible 140% over the course of the past three years.
It has not been a straight-line move though. In between advances, INTU suffered pullbacks … particularly once it bumped into what has become a well-established ceiling. Friday’s action suggests a move out of an uptrend and back into a downtrend, even with the day’s net gains.
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The shape of the bar is the key. Intuit started the day out strong, and got even stronger on an intraday basis, but by the time the closing bell rang it was as low as before. Would-be profit-takers were put into action.
- Prompting the big intraday swing was a bump into the resistance line that tags all the key highs going back to mid-2017, marked as a light blue dashed line on the weekly chart.
- Notice that, while not with perfection, the gray 100-day moving average line has been an important support level. Currently at $262.23, it could be a spot where the selling is put to a test.
Gilead Sciences (GILD)
A week and a half ago, Gilead Sciences was pushing up and off a critical support level. That was happening after a damaging pullback, and GILD stock still posed more risk than reward. But, it was a start. The 50-day moving average line was close to crossing back above the 200-day moving average line. The chance of a renewed breakout effort made it worth the time and effort.
That rebound effort was never able to get going in earnest. Indeed, although it likely has more to do with the market than Gilead itself, the stock just slipped into serious trouble on Friday. It’s no small matter either.
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As the daily chart indicates, the rising support line that tags all the key lows since late-December stopped acting as support on Friday. That floor is plotted as a dashed blue line.
- The prod for Friday’s setback was an encounter with the blue 20-day moving average line, marked in dark blue. That failed effort to move above it is highlighted.
- Zooming out to the weekly chart there’s a clear falling resistance line, marked in yellow, which is driving Gilead to lower lows. It’s also clear there’s one last-ditch support level at $62, marked in white.
As of this writing, James Brumley did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. You can learn more about him at his website jamesbrumley.com, or follow him on Twitter, at @jbrumley.
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