Investors are always on the lookout for stocks about to break out, but they can be tough to find.
Let’s just come out and say it: Last week was not a good week for equities. On Tuesday, the S&P 500 fell by more than 4% after the monthly inflation report came in hotter than expected. It was the index’s worst one-day performance since June 2020.
The reality is, even when the whole world seems like it’s falling apart, there are still some stocks that are doing okay. In fact, there are some stocks that are doing more than okay; they are at or near 52-week highs.
These are known as relative strength stocks. They are showing strength and upside momentum at a time when the overall market is weak. These are precisely the names we want to be buying or looking to buy and these are the ones most likely to perform well in the interim.
Let’s look at a few stocks about to break out.
|Invesco Solar ETF
Enphase Energy (ENPH)
Solar stocks have been some of the best-performing equities in the market lately. They have had a constant bid beneath them and one of the best performers in the group has been Enphase Energy (NASDAQ:ENPH).
Notably, Enphase kicked off the enormous rally in solar when it reported earnings on July 26. Since then, it’s been locked into rally mode. It did give bulls a second chance, though.
Shares consolidated for about a month from early August to early September, chopping between $275 and $300. Now the stock has been finding support around $300 as it works to clear its next resistance level near $325. Notice how prior resistance has become current support.
The risk here is obvious: This stock has been overwhelmingly strong and the market has been weak. It wouldn’t be weird for further market weakness to weigh on the stock or for investors to start booking profits (or both).
That said, we don’t want to fight the trend here. Shares continue to churn higher, taking out resistance and holding new layers of support. If ENPH stock clears $325, it’s definitely one of the stocks about to break out. We are looking at a push to $330, then potentially the $345 to $350 zone.
Invesco Solar ETF (TAN)
For some, the easiest way to play solar stocks is via the Invesco Solar ETF (NYSEARCA:TAN).
Enphase and First Solar (NYSE:FSLR) make up the two largest holdings in the TAN ETF with a 12.8% and 9.8% weighting, respectively.
While we just got the breakdown on ENPH stock, we didn’t (and won’t) really touch on First Solar. However, FSLR stock has been scorching hot lately, while the TAN ETF has been consolidating.
Last week, the TAN ETF gave us an inside week, which is a consolidation observation. It comes at a time when the ETF has been consolidating for about five weeks now. Look at the weekly chart above — really, look at it — and notice how it held active support via the 10-week moving average and the prior resistance zone near $80. That’s bullish price action.
So what’s the caveat with First Solar?
While First Solar has been roasting higher, the TAN ETF has been consolidating. So even if the other solar stocks begin to break out, a correction in First Solar could hold the TAN ETF back.
What we want to watch for here is a rotation over last week’s high of $88.44, and preferably, get a daily close above this level. While there’s still the chance we could be consolidating below $88 to $90, it’s the first step needed for TAN to break out. If it can eventually clear $91, it opens the door to $100.
Cheniere Energy (LNG)
Last but not least, we are looking at a more traditional energy company with Cheniere Energy (NYSE:LNG).
I really wanted this stock at $150. It would have been the perfect buy on the retest of a major breakout area. It didn’t happen though, as shares ultimately powered to new highs.
Now we have some interesting action (and two setups).
Last week, we saw exhaustive price action in Cheniere Energy, with some long upside wicks on both daily candles. That led to a pullback on Friday (as energy stocks in general were under pressure).
For Cheniere, the stock held the 10-day and 21-day moving averages and had a solid late-day bounce. If it can clear Friday’s high at $169.70, we could be looking at a quick bounce back into the mid-to-high-$170s.
The other setup is a further pullback.
If Cheniere loses Friday’s low near $164, it will also lose the 10-day and 21-day moving averages. A close below this level does even more damage, technically speaking. It opens the door down to the $153 area, which was a solid two-week low, along with the 50-day moving average. And of course, the $150 area is attractive for obvious reasons.
On the date of publication, Bret Kenwell did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.