Two Longs & Two Shorts to Watch

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Here are two stocks with strong technical momentum and two with charts that look to be breaking down.

On the long side, First Solar, Inc. (FSLR) reached a new high for 2017 on Wednesday, hitting $65.43 intraday. It closed up $2.03 at $63.24 on heavy volume of 4.6 million shares traded. The stock has appreciated by 140% since April 3 and has been tearing up the chart since the renewable energy company’s earnings announcement on October 26, buoyed by positive analyst opinion. Wednesday’s move came with news of a strong 2018 forecast announced during the session at the company’s analyst day. There is a multi-year resistance level at $71. But if the stock can close above today’s high, $70 may not be far away.

Nutanix, Inc. (NTNX) rallied 3.5% Wednesday, closing at $35.20 on light volume of 3.1 million shares traded. The move up came with news of a positive research note issued by a Raymond James analyst. The stock has risen by 140% since May 1. Price has been consolidating in the $32-$38 zone since the cloud technology company’s earnings announcement on November 30 and spiked up to the top of its rising price channel that day. There may be some continued short-term consolidation but next targets are $40 and $42.

On the short side, Charles River Laboratories International, Inc. (CRL) was up 66 cents, closing at $102.48 on light volume of 218,300 shares traded. The move came on news that the drug discovery company has boosted its gene-editing platform, offering more capability to its contracting biopharma clients. But this stock chart is not a pretty picture. Price dropped down hard on November 9 after the company’s earnings announcement, falling out of its rising price channel and forming a 19-day bear flag in the $100-$105 zone. Given that, next targets on the way down are $93 and $86.

Medidata Solutions, Inc. (MDSO) declined by 41 cents, closing at $64.58 on 552,100 shares traded. It is the issue’s lowest closing price since April 25. The stock took a major hit after the clinical development technology company’s earnings announcement on October 26 and has failed to close above $71 since then. Price has now hit a significant support level established in 2014 and is in a bear flag consolidation within the $64-71 zone. If price breaks below that bear flag, $60 and $55 are the next targets.

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