Through the first five and one-half months of 2010, the three major U.S. indexes were in the green, but barely. The leader of the three has been the technology-laden Nasdaq with a gain of nearly 2%. A seven-session winning streak in the middle of June is the longest for the index since July 2009.
It appears that technically, the Nasdaq and its components are ready to lead any future rallies. Combining strong fundamentals with the charts will only increase the odds of winning stock picks in the technology sector. Below are five stock ideas that have the technicals and fundamentals to back up a buy recommendation.
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The Big Dog
It is tough not to include Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) in an article that mentions technology stocks with strength and value. The stock is obviously strong, as it closed at a new all-time high in mid-June. And with a forward P/E ratio of only 17.4, there is a value aspect. The announcement of the new iPhone has created a massive amount of pre-orders for the company, even causing the website to slow with the heavy traffic. There is also the still-popular iPad that has its own wait list at almost every Apple store. There appears to be nothing that can stop this stock from moving higher. With that being said, always buy on weakness; no stock goes straight up.
Not to be outdone by Apple, Baidu (Nasdaq: BIDU) hit an all-time high in May before consolidating the last month. The company provides Chinese and Japanese language internet search services and is often referred to as the "Chinese Google". The stock is trading at a forward P/E ratio of 38.6, which sounds high, but considering Baidu's earnings per share are expected to grow by 55% next year, it leaves the company undervalued based on various pricing models. The recent consolidation in BIDU gives investors a buying opportunity near the $70 area.
Mercadolibre (Nasdaq: MELI) provides an online commerce platform for South America and is based out of Argentina. Think eBay (Nasdaq: EBAY), but for South America. The stock recently hit a two-year high and is in the process of pulling back to support at the $55 area. Fundamentally, the stock is trading at a forward P/E ratio of 39.5, and earnings are expected to grow by 34% in 2011 to $1.50/share, according to First Call estimates. This stock is not as much of a value play based on the numbers; however, the growth prospects make it hard to ignore.
The Best Of The Rest
Loral Space & Communications (Nasdaq: LORL) is a satellite communications company that designs satellite systems used for television, broadband and wireless services. LORL is not a pure-play technology stock, but with a forward P/E ratio of 6.7, it is hard to ignore the company. Technically the stock has been consolidating near support at $38, and the longer-term uptrend remains intact.
SanDisk (Nasdaq: SNDK) is known for its flash storage devices that have evolved over the years. The recent rally in the stock (more than doubled in the last six months) has a lot to do with its exposure to Apple's iPad. The company makes the flash memory for the latest Apple invention, and if the trend continues, expect demand for memory to continue. The stock is trading at a forward P/E ratio of only 13.4, and technically it is one of the strongest stocks in the entire market.
Patience When Buying
When it comes to technology stocks, you must expect above-average volatility, especially considering the overall market swings in 2010. If you can be patient, the sell-offs in the above stocks will be the time to put money to work. When everyone else is panicking, you should be smiling and buying. (For related reading, check out Technology Sector Funds.)
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