With the strength in semiconductor earnings on Wednesday, owners of big tech stocks like Google (NASDAQ: GOOG), Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC) and Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) no doubt will be hoping that the broader technology sector can put in similar performances.
Of the three, shares of Intel Corporation are the least overbought heading into the company’s scheduled earnings announcement on Thursday. The stock rallied to new, yearly highs just last week and is experiencing typical profit-taking in the wake of rallying to those levels. INTC pulled back for three days in a row heading into Wednesday’s session, and finished trading higher by more than 1%.
By comparison, both Google and Microsoft are far closer to levels where traders historically have been more inclined to sell shares than buy shares, at least in the short-term. Shares of Google pulled back from new, 52-week highs in the first week of January, selling off sharply over the following three days.
Immediately afterward, GOOG slipped into a tight, week-long trading range. And recent buying has helped push the stock not just to the upper end of this trading range but to the edge of overbought territory, as well. Interestingly, while remaining rangebound, GOOG has traded higher for five out of the past six sessions, helping explain the stock’s overbought status in the face of relatively little overall price appreciation.
Microsoft is in many ways the most interesting company among Nasdaq’s tech cohort reporting earnings on Thursday. The stock has roared higher over the past several days, gaining well over 8% in the most recent two and a half weeks, and is back in overbought territory above the 200-day moving average.
Light selling in the stock has helped the ordinarily, low-volatility MSFT earn an upgrade to a neutral 5 out of 10. Any strength in the wake of the stock’s earnings report on Thursday, however, could easily result in a reversal in that rating back down in the “consider avoiding” direction of stocks rated 3 or less.
Looking for even bigger Nasdaq edges? Shares of Pacer International (NASDAQ: PACR) are among the highest rated in our database heading into trading on Thursday. The stock has finished lower for five days in a row, the last two in technically oversold territory. And while Ebay Inc. (NASDAQ: EBAY) has slipped below its 200-day moving average in recent days, the fact that the stock has finished lower for three days in a row, and is trading in technically oversold territory means that traders should not be surprised to see higher prices in the stock sooner than later.
Want more stocks? Read our latest from 7 Stocks You Need to Know: Volatilty and Visa’s New High.
David Penn is Editor in Chief of TradingMarkets.com.