Last week, the S&P 500 posted a modest 0.2% gain, which puts it within points of a 4-month base breakout at 4607. In addition to a breakout, a move above this level would put this Index above its July high, which is a key area of possible resistance. Of note, a lengthy base breakout often precedes a lengthy advance, such as the early July period this year, when another 4-month base breakout occurred ahead of a 9.6% gain for the S&P 500.
Currently, the broader markets are in an uptrend, which makes screening for stocks emerging from bases even more exciting. Today, I’ll be focusing on recent cup-with-handle base breakouts. Among the eight primary base patterns, the cup with handle remains to this day one of the most successful. This chart pattern was identified by William O’Neil during his decades-long research uncovering the commonalities among winning stocks that go on to outpace the markets. Other characteristics in addition to the base breakouts on the chart are also present in these winners, as you’ll see in the examples below.
Royal Caribbean Cruises (RCL) posted a cup-with-handle base breakout this month, amid news that travel had picked up considerably over the Thanksgiving holiday. Of note is that the right side of the base for RCL did not reach the late July high in price. Not advancing to the prior high is one of the keys for the cup portion of the base. In addition, the breakout occurred on above-average volume, indicating accumulation. The buy point is above the high of the handle and shown by the arrow. From there, RCL has since entered an uptrend as the stock finds support at its upward trending 5-day moving average. Using the June period as precedent, RCL has further upside potential from here.
IDEXX Laboratories (IDXX) posted a cup-with-base breakout on Monday, following two Wall Street price target upgrades for the manufacturer of diagnostic products for the veterinary market. Analysts were impressed by the growth prospects presented by management at an industry conference earlier this week. While the RSI is in an overbought position on the daily chart above, the weekly chart of IDXX has just posted a positive MACD, with the RSI below an overbought level. This puts the stock in a bullish position for the long as well as near term.
As noted, a successful cup-with-handle base breakout is coupled with several characteristics such as above-average volume on the handle breakout, ideally that’s been spurred by positive news regarding the company’s outlook for growth. In addition, both RCL and IDXX shown above, have recently reported strong earnings that were above estimates. In addition and as with all base breakouts, the probability of success is greatly increased if the broader markets are in a uptrend.
These necessary ingredients for a successful cup-with-handle base breakout are currently present among select homebuilding stocks, which are breaking out amid pent-up housing demand coupled with lower mortgage rates. We’ve highlighted two of these stocks as strong buys on the Suggested Holdings List of my twice-weekly MEM EDGE Report. If you’d like immediate access to these and other bullish stocks, use this link here for a low-cost trial, which can be halted at any time. This timely report will also alert you to any shift in our currently bullish outlook for the markets, as well as sector rotation that’s shaping up for next year.
I look forward to regularly sharing my insights with you as I have been for years with my many other subscribers!
Mary Ellen McGonagle
MEM Investment Research
Mary Ellen McGonagle is a professional investing consultant and the president of MEM Investment Research. After eight years of working on Wall Street, Ms. McGonagle left to become a skilled stock analyst, working with William O’Neill in identifying healthy stocks with potential to take off. She has worked with clients that span the globe, including big names like Fidelity Asset Management, Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch and Oppenheimer.