There’s always a bull market somewhere. And with Dow Jones Industrial Average constituent Home Depot (NYSE:HD), you don’t have to look very far to appreciate that very fact. But is now a good time to buy Home Depot stock? Let’s examine what’s happening off and on the price chart to reach a stronger, risk-adjusted decision.
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It has been good year for the market, albeit a volatile one at times. The Dow Jones is up nearly 17% and less than 1% from recapturing late July’s all-time-high. At the same time, Home Depot stock’s gain of 36% has more than doubled the venerable blue-chip index while hitting fresh highs.
Only the Dow’s Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), and its return of nearly 39%, is larger than HD’s rise through Friday’s close. However, that top spot has come at a price. AAPL stock’s gains have failed to match Home Depot’s technical wherewithal with shares still 5.5% beneath its October all-time high.
So, what’s behind the burly gains of America’s largest home improvement retailer? No doubt 2019 has raised the specter of potential difficulties for Home Depot and peer Lowes (NYSE:LOW) given the ongoing U.S. China trade war and retail shelves lined with “Made in China” products.
But so far, HD stock has managed to trump those fears.
Removed from trade war concerns of what might be, a defensively positioned Home Depot has benefited from this summer’s interest rate cut by the FOMC and ongoing demand for home improvement. And the good times, which showed up in August’s earnings beat, aren’t over either.
According to Citi analyst Gregory Badishkanian, HD stock enjoys “still-solid underlying macro fundamentals and housing drivers,” which should help with further sales and margin wins. For its part Citi reaffirmed its buy rating while lifting the price target on HD from $246 to $269 and a premium of 15% compared to Friday’s closing price.
Home Depot Stock Price Monthly Chart
Technically speaking, Home Depot stock appears ready for a strong second-half of 2019 after dismantling a large bearish topping pattern.
In August, HD produced an earnings-driven breakout from a 20-month long broadening base pattern. This type of formation is generally viewed as bearish once the fifth pivot receives price confirmation through the low of the monthly candlestick. Home Depot stock obliged bearish shorts as it traded beneath July’s low of $212.39 and eventually down to $197.84 before quickly and unequivocally failing.
A bullish earnings gap and follow-through in Home Depot stock took shares to new highs while also breaking out above angular pattern resistance. Now September’s price action is confirming August’s engulfing candlestick while being supported by a bullishly positioned stochastics indicator.
With HD shares just a couple percent above the August high, it’s time to embrace the bearish pattern failure as an important signal to go long shares. I’m inclined to see Citi’s price target of $269 to perhaps as much as $275 in Home Depot stock as a reasonable forecast for shares.
My recommendation is to simply buy Home Depot stock today and set an initial stop-loss below $219. Early Monday and with HD trading around $232.50, that works out to price exposure of 6%. That’s attractive relative to the risk taken. And smartly, it pulls the plug on the position just in case the broadening pattern has a repeat and more bearish performance in store for Home Depot stock.
Disclosure: Investment accounts under Christopher Tyler’s management do not currently own positions in any securities mentioned in this article. The information offered is based upon Christopher Tyler’s observations and strictly intended for educational purposes only; the use of which is the responsibility of the individual. For additional options-based strategies and related musings, follow Chris on Twitter @Options_CAT and StockTwits.
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