With the markets struggling to gain any ground over the past few weeks, it's interesting that several REIT's remain in a position of strength. Vornado Realty Trust (NYSE:VNO) for instance, has been holding steady in a flag pattern as it consolidates a late April breakout. The prior breakout area was close to $90, despite the spike to $92.50 in a breakout failure earlier this year in March. VNO has basically held above that spike as it bases just under $97.50. This area is of key importance, as this was the level where VNO broke down at during the bear market in 2008. A move above these levels would further confound market participants, but it can't be ruled out.
While Macerich Company (NYSE:MAC) is still well below its 2008 peak ($76.50), it is also consolidating above its prior base despite the recent market weakness. In fact, it is perched just below multi-year highs near $53.50. MAC may not be ready to break this level just yet, as it is starting to back down from its highs again. The key level to watch below is $50, which held as support earlier in May. The 50-day moving average is rising up to this level as well, and a pullback to $50 should attract buyers. (For more, see Support And Resistance Reversals.)
Another REIT displaying relative strength is Glimcher Realty Trust (NYSE:GRT). GRT can be looked at in a couple of ways. It has been steadily rising in a channel since late 2010. It has respected the top and bottom of the channel on several occasions, and is currently somewhere in the middle of the channel. However, it also was respecting the $9.25 level as resistance through the early part of 2011 before finally clearing the level in late April. It has been holding above this level since then, as it trades sideways in a tight range. This level would be the one to watch for clues to GRT's next move. If GRT can get above it, it could signal a continuation move higher, with a drop below hinting as a possible breakdown. (For more, see The REIT Way.)
Federal Realty Investment Trust (NYSE:FRT) is already back to its prior breakout level, as the recent market weakness took its toll on the stock. Despite FRT pulling back 5% the past few weeks, it remains above its prior base, and it appears that buyers have started to step in near $84. This would be the logical area for support, and could be the turning point for FRT, especially if the markets can stabilize. A close under these levels would be more ominous, as it would call into question the April breakout.
The REIT's have been incredibly resilient over the past several months, and they continue to show strength. If the markets intend to correct over the summer, it's doubtful that this group wouldn't be held back with it. However, if the markets stabilize and continue the rally, then this is a group that could easily move higher. (For more, see Big REIT Dividends.)
Charts courtesy of stockcharts.com
At the time of writing, Joey Fundora did not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article