Cisco a Better Bet Than Apple, Amazon, Tech Giants: Piper Jaffray

While many on the Street have warned a market correction is coming, following a decade long bull market, big names in the technology sector continue to pull the S&P 500 index to new highs. Investors are reaping stellar returns from tech plays including Apple Inc. (AAPL), Inc. (AMZN), Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) and Nvidia Corp. (NVDA). While these stocks have carried the Nasdaq Composite Index to three consecutive record highs in the final week of August, one technical analyst recommends a long time industry player as a better buy than its peers. 

(See also: 5 Tech Hardware Stocks to Outperform: MarketWatch.)

Wait for a Pullback from Amazon, Microsoft, Buy Cisco

Craig Johnson, Chief Market Technician at Piper Jaffray, took to the charts on CNBC's "Trading Nation" on Friday to argue that while companies like Amazon and Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) need to experience a pullback before reaching new highs, Cisco Systems looks positioned for a run to the upside. 

"If you look at Apple, this is almost a parabolic-looking chart and parabolic charts typically end poorly," said Johnson. Last month, the smartphone maker became the first U.S. corporation to exceed $1 trillion in market value. Better-than-expected earnings helped drive Apple's gains above 19% in August, marking their best monthly performance in nearly 10 years. 

As Amazon and Microsoft inch higher, Johnson says he would recommend holding for a pullback. He would be a buyer of Amazon at $1,825 and a buyer of Microsoft at $105, marking a respective downsides of 9% and 7% from Friday close. 

The Piper Jaffray strategist views Cisco as a value play among the tech giants, trading under $50 and with a relatively modest market capitalization near $225 billion. 

"Cisco has finally just broken out of the consolidation range it's been in since all of 2018," Johnson said. "I can see a measured objective here into kind of the $51, $52 range on this breakout and that's a stock I'd be buying here today."

Cisco stock is up 0.3% on Tuesday morning at $47.93, reflecting a 25.1% return year-to-date (YTD), outpacing the S&P 500's 8.3% increase over the same period. 

(See also: 8 Stocks to Thrive as 2018 Cloud Spending Soars.)

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