These S&P 500 stocks hitting all-time highs could keep climbing

More records could be in store for some S&P 500 stocks hitting all-time highs.

As the index hit its own new record on Friday, two traders on CNBC’s “Trading Nation” flagged their favorite components at or near records.

They agreed on one stock: online retailer Etsy.

“Etsy has … been making a nice series of higher highs and higher lows,” said Craig Johnson, senior technical research analyst at Piper Sandler, citing a chart of its momentum.

“It’s been in a well-defined uptrend. We’ve actually come back and rechecked that uptrend three times since coming out from those March lows.”

With a 70-75% earnings growth rate, Etsy’s stock has “lots more room to go to the upside” given that it’s not trading at that expensive a multiple relative to the rest of the market, he said.

“I think you’ve got about 18% upside from current levels from here. So that’s one that I would be buying here on this move to the new highs,” Johnson said.

An 18% rise from Friday’s closing prices would bring Etsy to nearly $273 a share.

Danielle Shay, director of options at Simpler Trading, said that while she would wait for a pullback before buying Etsy at its highs, she couldn’t deny its strong fundamentals.

“You have the pandemic going on right now. Online shopping via Etsy is very strong,” she said. “I think Etsy is going to continue to trade higher, especially into the earnings report that’s coming up.”

Etsy is scheduled to report earnings on Feb. 24.

Johnson’s second pick was Activision Blizzard, which the Piper Sandler analyst looked “a little different” than Etsy on a technical basis.

“It’s broken out of this huge consolidation range that it’s been in here for multiple months, and … you can kind of measure the height of that breakout,” he said.

That measurement, plus the breakout of the consolidation range and above its 40-week moving average and its relative strength versus the S&P all point to a roughly 26% move to the upside for Activision, Johnson said.

“It’s going to be 129, which would be about a 26% upside from current levels. So, that’d be another one that I’d be buying at this point in time,” he said.

Shay preferred a different S&P gaming stock over Activision.

“You look at the move that we’ve seen in Activision. Well, Take-Two hasn’t broken out yet,” she said. “I would actually prefer to buy Take-Two instead of Activision and try to actually capture the breakout moves instead of buying it after the fact.”

Her final pick hinged in part on the spring agricultural season.

“The third one that I would add in here would be John Deere,” Shay said. “We have a really strong technical chart and then we also have a really strong macro story. We have people gardening more than usual. The agricultural segment in John Deere was really strong last year and I think it’s going to continue to be strong this year.”

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