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Charts reveal ‘serious’ hurdles facing chipmakers’ stocks



One of the market’s top semiconductor-based exchange-traded funds is signaling some obstacles ahead for the chipmakers’ stocks, CNBC’s Jim Cramer said Tuesday after consulting with one of his favorite chartists.

The chartist, Carolyn Boroden — the brain behind and one of Cramer’s colleagues — has a unique methodology. She uses Fibonacci ratios, a number series discovered by medieval mathematician Leonardo Fibonacci that repeats throughout nature, to spot patterns in the stock market.

Specifically, she measures past swings in a stock or an index, then runs them through a Fibonacci prism. When she does this with a chart’s Y-axis, price, it shows her potential levels of support or resistance. When she uses the X-axis, time, it flags particular times when a stock is most likely to change course.

So, with investors fretting about weakness at longtime industry stalwart Nvidia, Cramer and Boroden found it worth circling back to the chipmaking group via the VanEck Vectors Semiconductor ETF, also known as the SMH.

And, based on Boroden’s analysis, “the SMH needs to run a series of gauntlets if it’s going to keep climbing here,” Cramer said on “Mad Money.” “First, the semis need to get through this week without experiencing a serious reversal. […] Then, the SMH needs to rally $3 to $7 bucks to clear its two ceilings of resistance. If it can do that, then Boroden believes the semis will be able to keep climbing. [But] that’s a mighty big if.”

Here’s how they reached that conclusion:

First, Cramer called attention to one of Boroden’s recent successful predictions: when the SMH bottomed in late December around $80, it touched a floor of support “created by a cluster of Fibonacci price relationships” between $79 and $81, as well as a confluence of timing cycles that suggested the index was due for a bounce, he explained.

Now, Boroden sees potential for more upside. Her methodology suggested that the roughly $94 fund could vault to $123 and change or even $135, which would constitute a 31 to 44 percent move. But for that to happen, there are “major hurdles” the SMH needs to top before the semiconductor stocks can continue their rally, Cramer said.

The first two hurdles have to do with symmetry, the idea that stocks or indices tend to rally the same dollar amount during sustained moves. Boroden noted that the when the SMH last saw a sustained rally in May, it climbed $16.53. Now, it has already bounced more than $16 from its December lows, which could mean that the rally might soon peter out at the SMH’s $97 ceiling of resistance.

But even if it trades above $97, the index has another ceiling of resistance at $101. Boroden said the SMH could hit that level if it retraces its rally from February of $20.67. But even with that, it won’t be smooth sailing yet, she told Cramer.

“Perhaps the biggest hurdle has to do with the Fibonacci timing cycles,” Cramer said. “In December, when we were getting crushed, a cluster of timing cycles was good news. But now that the SMH has been rallying, a bunch of these Fibonacci timing cycles could mean that this semiconductor index is about to pull back. And Boroden points out that we do have a bunch of these timing cycles com[ing] due … between today and Friday.”

All in all, Boroden sees the SMH approaching “some serious resistance this week” as the tidal wave of earnings reports continues to sweep across Wall Street, Cramer said.

“If the semis can make it to the end of this week without rolling over, she says that would be a good sign and the upside could be significant, but there’s also a decent chance the group will get slammed and retest its December low,” the “Mad Money” host concluded. “At least you know what the technical levels are to look for.”

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Retail earnings reports, China trade impact




CNBC’s Jim Cramer on Friday said he expects more of the same in the week ahead of stock trading.

“Next week, once again, is all about trade and retail,” the “Mad Money” host said. “This is the week when most retailers report, so we will be listening closely to what they say about the trade war.”

Monday: Trade watch

The stock market will confront the same issues on Monday as the week prior. The days following will see a lot of retailers hold conference calls, and Cramer is looking to see what they have to say about tariffs on Chinese imports.

“The market will punish companies that source in China and reward companies that don’t, because that’s what [President Donald Trump] is doing,” he said.

Tuesday: Home Depot, TJX, Nordstrom

Home Depot: The home improvement retail giant reports earnings before the bell. Cramer is expecting weather to weigh on earnings again.

“There’s much too much rain this gardening season, and I bet that hurt them,” he said. “I still believe Home Depot can tell a decent story about trade, but it won’t matter if gardening season, their equivalent of Christmas, turns out to be a bit of a bust.”

TJX: The T.J. Maxx parent delivers its quarterly results to shareholders in the morning.

Nordstrom: The luxury department chain has an earnings call at the end of trading. The stock is down more than 20% this year and more than 27% in the past 12 months.

“At these levels, it pays you a 4% yield. I think it may be too cheap to ignore,” Cramer said.

Wednesday: Lowe’s, Target

Lowe’s: Lowe’s, the main rival to Home Depot, presents its quarterly earnings before the market opens. CEO Marvin Ellison is guiding the home rehab chain through a turnaround.

“Wall Street loves Ellison, though,” Cramer said. “If Lowe’s gets hit, either before or after the quarter, I’d be a buyer of the stock.”

Target: Target comes out with its latest results before trading begins. The stock is about $20 per share off its September high and has a 3.6% yield.

“I know it’s battling both Walmart and Amazon, which might be too much competition for any one company, ” Cramer said. “But I think CEO Brian Cornell’s doing a terrific job. You know what, I like the stock here.”

Thursday: Best Buy, Splunk

Best Buy: The tech gadget store reports earnings in the morning. The stock is up 30% this year, and Cramer is warning not to take a chance on it at current levels.

“I’m betting they’re going to have to talk about tariffs on the whole darned conference call,” he said.

Splunk: The software analytics company, one of Cramer’s “Cloud King” stocks, presents its financial report after the market closes. Cramer expects Splunk to put up a good conference call out of CEO Doug Merritt. He said Merritt continues to deliver on promises.

“I like it a lot. … [It’s got] no China exposure — I say buy,” he said.

Friday: Foot Locker

Foot Locker: The shoe retailer will lay out its quarterly report for investors before stocks start trading. With a presence in shopping centers across the country, Foot Locker carries Nike, Adidas, Under Armour and a range of other sports apparel brands in its stores.

“The stock’s been held back by trade war worries,” Cramer said. “I bet it will prove to be immune, or at least more immune than most people think.”

WATCH: Cramer breaks down the week ahead in earnings

Disclosure: Cramer’s charitable trust owns shares of and Home Depot.

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Charts suggest markets could soon get a deep correction




CNBC’s Jim Cramer said Thursday that his colleague is warning that danger could be on the horizon for the stock market.

The “Mad Money” host took a look at chart analysis as interpreted by technician Carolyn Borogen, Cramer’s coworker at who also runs, to understand what could come of this volatile market.

The major U.S. averages were taken for a ride this week as investors attempted to gauge whether the United States would raise existing tariffs on imports from China on Friday. Because of this uncertainty, the best way to get an empirical reading of the market is through studying chart action, Cramer said.

The high-to-high cycles, as explained by Boroden, in the weekly chart of the S&P 500 is cause for concern, the host said.

Highs on the index have ranged between 31 weeks and 36 weeks, and the most recent peak was recorded last Friday, he said. Prior to that, the last major high was set in September, which preceded the stock sell-off in October.

Markets tend to repeat themselves, and because stocks sold off this week after a big run, Boroden thinks there could be cause for concern.

“In fact, she’s looked at a series of previous high-to-high cycles, and what she’s noticed is that there’s a whole confluence of them coming due this month,” Cramer said. “That’s why she’s throwing up a caution flag, because Boroden thinks we might finally get a deep downside correction — even deeper than what we’ve already experienced during hell week.”

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These 6 stocks could make or break the S&P 500’s run




Call them the Supersized Six.

Microsoft, Amazon, Apple, Alphabet, Facebook and Berkshire Hathaway — six of the most highly valued companies in the S&P 500 — don’t just boast the index’s biggest market caps.

In fact, those six companies are worth about as much as the bottom 290 companies in the S&P combined. Taken together, their market caps total $4.2 trillion, while the bottom 290 S&P companies are worth roughly $4.3 trillion.

It’s fairly common knowledge that the top 50 S&P stocks are worth more than the bottom 450, and it’s not unusual that the market is frequently this “top-heavy,” says Carter Worth, chief market technician at Cornerstone Macro.

But the concentration in these six names is noteworthy, and it could mean trouble for the market, Worth said Tuesday on CNBC’s “Fast Money.”

Considering the influence they have over the S&P’s direction, it makes you wonder: “Is it an index, or is it a few big names that drive everything?” Worth said. “That’s what makes beating the index so hard.”

He called attention to this chart tracking the six-stock basket against its 150-day moving average, as well as the number of times it has traded above or below that average.

“Literally, every single time we have gotten this far above the 150-day moving average, we have peaked. It is right at that level yet again,” Worth said, pointing to the uptick in the bottom panel’s trend line. “So, as this goes, so goes the market. I think you’ve got a crowding that’s not so good. Just to put it in real context, think of those six names relative to the S&P. It’s all so dependent on these big names.”

Moreover, while the market’s “heavy hitters” have made up 15% of the S&P’s total market cap, on average, since at least the 1990s, that percentage is also ticking up, Worth noted.

“We’re starting to get back to a level that is typically indicative of when markets peak. That’s ’07, so forth and so on,” he said. “None of this is particularly healthy.”

By market cap, Microsoft is worth about $963 billion, Amazon is worth $949 billion, Apple is worth $969 billion, Facebook is worth $540 billion, and Berkshire Hathaway is worth $515 billion.

The broader market mounted a recovery Wednesday, with the S&P lifting off its Tuesday lows early in the session.

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