6 Stocks Trading With Momentum: Can It Continue?

Includes: GALE, MNK, NOK, S, SPPI, XPO
by: Brian Nichols

Over the last week the S&P 500 has traded higher by 2.50%, and the technology heavy NASDAQ is up nearly 3.30% during the last three days. The markets are now at one month highs after pulling back from multi-year highs. And with investors expecting more measures from the Fed it is very possible that Tuesday becomes yet another day of large gains. As a result of large gains in the market, there have been a number of stocks to trade considerably higher. In terms of performance this has been a very rewarding month for my own portfolio, and chances are, your portfolio has performed with gains as well. With that being said I am taking a look at six stocks, in which I own, to determine whether or not the gains may continue or see a healthy pullback.

During the last month Sprint (NYSE:S) has traded higher by 34%. Last week when the stock was priced at $2.96 I mentioned that it could be interesting if it surpassed $3, and could eventually reach $3.15 before resistance. Well, the stock has now reached $3.15 and I am going to stick to my original forecast, which means that I expect resistance to occur in the coming days. I think it could pullback and then struggle to trade higher for the next couple weeks. Over the last month Sprint along with AT&T (NYSE:T) and Verizon (NYSE:VZ) have all seen large gains, and with very little in key developments. As a result it does appear as though each could trade lower. But then again, I could very well be wrong. So far I have been right about this stock, but it does have a lot of positive momentum and if it can clear $3.20 then it's nothing but blue skies ahead.

Over the last four days Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) has traded higher by 13% but is now reaching resistance at $1.70. The company has announced nothing but good news, yet hadn't traded with any level of momentum until now. The company's headquarters are in Europe, therefore I believe it has been kept down due to its presence in Europe alone, because fundamentally this stock is worth much more than its current valuation, yet I believe it will trade flat at this level due to resistance at $1.70. However, I must add, I have a long history of being wrong about ALU and its immediate trend. Therefore, the fact that I believe it will stall at $1.70 may be a good sign for ALU longs.

Questcor Pharmaceuticals (QCOR) is a stock that just keeps on surprising me. I have bought the stock about five times, and if I would have held since the first time I bought then I would be sitting on yacht somewhere in the Bahamas. However, it didn't work out, and I sold, only to buyback, most recently at $40, and the stock has been on a massive bull run ever since. QCOR has returned 33% over the last month alone. A large portion of its gains were leading up to the company's conference where it announced commercialization plans for its blockbuster Acthar. However, as the company breaks into new highs on a daily basis, I do believe its run could be coming to an end. I think it may pullback over the next week as investors take profits. In the long run, there is still significant upside in this stock, but with a market-leading five year return of nearly 11,000% and a price/sales of 11.47 I believe a small pullback would be healthy. But then again, I constantly underestimate this stock, so nothing would surprise me.

Galena BioPharma (NASDAQ:GALE) is a stock I first mentioned back in January. The company's clinical results, potentially billions in sales, and market cap under $50 million just didn't add up, therefore I bought shares. However, it has been a bumpy ride, and although it has returned market leading gains in 2012 of nearly 250%, it is still far off its highs of $3.54. My goal with GALE is very simple, just ignore the volatility, hold tight, and if I am right then I will have the chance to make up for my decision to sale QCOR in 2010 (before buying back). The stock has been trading flat over the last month, but on Tuesday GALE traded higher by 22%, making its four day return 31%. The stock had created a bottom around $1.25 during the last six weeks. Therefore, all the investors who had been afraid of this stock after its incredible volatility, assumingly, began to buyback on Friday with the market trading higher, which means that I think this was just a correction. The stock traded higher after massive profit taking, and despite a 22% gain I still think it could go a little higher. But for those of you day trading or trying to ride momentum, then you better be careful. In my opinion, the only way to invest in developmental biotech is to go long and then close your eyes and hold on tight, these biotech roller coasters are often bumpy. But if you do your homework and buy a stock that truly presents value then it could be a great reward, leaving you fully satisfied after the ride ends.

Spectrum Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:SPPI) has gained 16% over the last four days, therefore breaking through resistance at $12, and exceeding $13 per share. The rally was in large due to Zevalin data, along with the fact that the stock is simply undervalued. SPPI is one of my favorite stocks in the market, and is trading with an unprecedented level of value for a biotechnology company with such a large pipeline, explosive growth, and three approved drugs (counting the acquisition of Allos). Yet despite a P/E ratio of 10 and revenue growth of 130% along with explosive earnings growth I still think it will trade lower in the next couple days. SPPI is a heavily shorted stock (for some reason) and traded in a very volatile manner throughout the day on Tuesday. It opened lower, and had all the characteristics of a day where profit taking would occur, but then ended up trading higher. I have been following this stock for a long time, and I may be wrong, but it looks to have all the makings of a short period of profit taking.

XPO Logistics (NYSEMKT:XPO) has now seen two consecutive days of all-time highs, which means almost everyone has returned a gain from their investment. The stock has traded higher by 6% over the last three days since transferring its shares to the NYSE, and a 22% gain over the last month. Tuesday was particularly volatile for XPO, as it more than doubled its average volume, and then slightly fell throughout the day. However, I still think the stock trades higher throughout the remainder of this week, and ultimately surpasses $20. The reason is because the stock is currently being accumulated by both the Russell Global and Russell 3000 indexes, which has more than $100 billion that track the indexes combined. The accumulation period will continue throughout this week, and I believe will push shares even higher. Honestly, I believe my $20 target is relatively small. The stock has an average price target of $23.25 among six analysts, including Jefferies calling it a potential 'four-bagger" with an eventual $70 price target.

Hopefully, the performance of everyone's portfolio has been stellar over the last week. There is no doubt that the last two days of last week should have consisted of loss with the Greek election characterized by so much uncertainty. Yet markets have traded higher, presenting an unusual amount of confidence, and turned out to be a pleasant surprise for investors who held tight. Regardless of the market's immediate direction I plan to hold all my positions, the ones above plus others. Because in this market there are no guarantees, you may think a stock will retrace but then it trades 10% higher. Therefore, I believe the best investment strategy in this market is to be long, because there is unprecedented value, and if you hold through the ups and downs it is sure to pay off.

Disclosure: I am long ALU, SPPI, S, XPO, QCOR, GALE.

Additional disclosure: The material in this piece is intended for educational purposes only and the opinions should not be used for any investment decisions.

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