The S&P info tech sector takes in a variety of companies with widely diverse businesses; everything from social networks (which are arguably more media plays than tech plays) to chipmakers and companies providing network optimization software.
I ran a screen Thursday to see what companies within this diverse sector were among the week's best price gainers. Late in Thursday's session, Apple (AAPL) suppler Cirrus Logic (CRUS) was up about 8.2% for the week. I've been tracking the stock of the audio chipmaker for quite some time and I like its current consolidation.
The stock has been getting solid support along its 10-week moving average, following an April 26 post-earnings gap higher. This is a good example of a small-cap setting up nicely for potential gains, once the broader market goes into a new uptrend.
A potential buy point could occur as the stock clears its prior high of $28.25. In a bull market, an entry opportunity could come even sooner. But in a downward-trending market, new buys should generally be avoided.
Another big tech gainer for the week is also one of the S&P MidCap 400's biggest movers year-to-date. Equinix (EQIX), which specializes in managed hosting and other Web-based services for business customers, was up about 6.6% for the week, late in Thursday's session. So far in 2012, Equinix has risen more than 54%.
The stock is getting support just above its 50-day line. It, too, reached a new high on April 26 and has been consolidating in a fairly orderly fashion.
The fundamental picture for this stock looks bright. I use analysts' estimates as part of my screening process, though I don't use them to determine whether I will buy or sell a stock. Instead, I check these as an additional way of determining institutions' level of confidence in a company's prospects at any given time.
Consensus estimates call for Equinix to earn $2.61 per share in 2012, up 52% from 2011. It's premature to say what the next technical entry point could be because market conditions play a key role in the price action of most individual stocks. A market rally in the next few weeks could present a buy point in Equinix, even before it passes its previous high of $172.44.
A third tech gainer that I'm tracking is chipmaker Skyworks Solutions (SWKS). It's forming a potential double-bottom formation, with a possible buy point above $28.15. But, as noted above, a market correction may prevent me from entering a position, even if it clears that point.
The company presented at an analysts' conference this week. These events often result in a stock rising, as investment bankers and other institutional investors hear something they like about the company's upcoming projects and buy some shares.
The stock has advanced about 8.9% this week, although upside volume has come in below average.
The company is expected to earn $1.88 this year, down 1% from last year. That situation is expected to turn around next year, with earnings growth of 14%.
Skyworks is expected to report its third-quarter results sometime around July 26.