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Tickers in this Article: MA, ROST, TJX, V
As the broader market attempts to stabilize, the services sector has already managed to do so. While potential downside does exist, the Dow Jones Consumer Services Index is only down 0.21% year to date after closing at 343.27 on Monday. By comparison, the S&P 500 index is down 6.24% year to date after finishing the Monday session at 1192.55. Within the services sector are some hot stocks with well known names. The trends in these stocks remain higher, and while many may think it is too late to get in, these stocks are still presenting opportunities.

Mastercard (NYSE:MA), the consumer and business credit card service provider, is up 62.67% to $359.25 from $220.85 at the start of the year. On-balance volume is continuing to rise with the price, which indicates traders and investors remain interested in the long position. The stock recently pulled back to the 50-day moving average which provided support on several occasions this year. A rise above the 52-week high at $373.55 is likely to trigger another leg higher in the uptrend, potentially challenging the $390 to $400 price area. A drop below support at $320 on the other hand indicates sell pressure may be mounting. (For related reading, see Understanding Credit Card Interest.)

Ross Stores (Nasdaq:ROST) provides discount apparel and home accessories and is up 36.99% year to date to $87.51 from $63.88. The stock also recently pulled back to the 50-day moving average, providing an entry point. If a thrust through the 52-week high occurs at $90.69, this will provide another potential entry for the next wave higher in the uptrend that has lasted three years. The rising on-balance volume indicator confirms the current uptrend. A former resistance level at $82.50, which held off a price advance from May to September, should now act as support if the price declines. A drop below this level points to a further correction though.

TJX Companies (NYSE:TJX), another discount apparel chain, is up 36.7% so far this year to $59.89 from $43.81. Currently trading close to the 52-week high, which is at $61.71, the stock remains in a strong uptrend. The 50- and 200-day moving averages have provided support on multiple occasions throughout the year and therefore present buying opportunities if the price retreats towards these lines. A rise above the 52-week high could trigger a continued move higher towards $65. A drop below the 200-day moving average or $53.25 would break the long-term uptrend.

Visa (NYSE:V), another credit card company, is also doing well, up 32.54% to $93.47 from $70.52 at the start of the year. The stock has been in an uptrend throughout the year and is currently pushing at the $95.87 52-high. $96 has been elusive level despite multiple rejected tests in October and November. A rise above that level would keep the uptrend in motion, with the next likely target to be $100. Buying-interest remains strong as shown by rising on-balance volume, but if the price drops below $88, it is an early sign of potential weakness. Support beyond this level is the 200-day moving average, which is very close to the current trendline. (For related reading, see The Utility Of Trendlines.)

The Bottom Line
All four of these stocks are trading close to yearly highs, and have the potential to continue to move higher. Risk still needs to be managed as the overall market continues to exhibit volatility. Support levels should be monitored as a drop below support in any of the stocks could indicate a potential turning point. For now, the two major credit card companies and the two discount apparel retailers are well positioned, and buying interest remains strong in all four, as indicated by the price and the rising on-balance volume.

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At the time of writing, Cory Mitchell did not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article.

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