A gain of approximately 45% in 2018 for shares of Mastercard Incorporated (MA) was likely due in part to unusual bullish trading activity accompanying the move higher. Mastercard has clearly been in one of the hottest areas of growth in the market the past couple of years – digital payments. That being said, a great way to uncover hot areas of growth is by paying attention to unusual trading activity. We firmly believe that the true tell on the near-term trajectory of the stock lies in the trading activity.

At many points in 2018, Mastercard shares have increased in price alongside an increase in volume. This can be indicative of smart money accumulating shares. The bottom line here is that the manner in which a stock trades can oftentimes alert you to the forward fundamental picture more so than simply looking at a company's financials alone.

For Mapsignals, the strongest indicator of positive price momentum is obtained by measuring potential institutional buying. In 2018, Mastercard stock has logged 17 of these rare signals. We like to see bullish activity in the shares alongside solid forward fundamentals, as this indicates that demand for the stock should increase over time, thus increasing its price. (For more, see: Mastercard's Stock May Have Big Gains Ahead<

In the chart below, Mastercard broke out to new 52-week highs on big volumes. Shares should continue the upward

Mapsignals' goal is to identify tomorrow's top stocks today. We're basically looking for outlier companies with healthy fundamentals accompanied by outsized, unusual institutional trading activity. By studying these data points, we can make an educated guess as to which equities institutions are trafficking in and marry this information with fundamentally sound companies. We want the odds on our side when looking for the highest-quali

When deciding on the strongest candidate for long-term growth, we consider many technical areas important to success. A few of these factors for Mastercard are a

In the chart below, you can see all of the unusual activity signals made by Mastercard shares in the past

Chart showing the unusual activity signals made by Mastercard shares in the past 52 weeks

On top of a great technical picture, one should also look under the hood to see if the fundamental picture supports a long-term investment. As you can see, Mastercard has solid earnings and revenue gro

  • Q2 2018 EPS growth rate: +36%
  • Q2 2018 revenue growth rate: +20%
  • Three-year dividend growth rate: +

Mastercard checks the box on strong technicals and fundamentals while showing bullish institutional momentum in 2018. We believe that the current level for the shares is positioned for further upside. All of this points to further long-term bullish action for the stock. (See also: Mastercard Patents See Blockchain for Data Records<

The Bottom Line

Mastercard stock represents a potential buying opportunity for the long-term investor. Given the solid earnings growth, revenue growth and multiple unusual accumulation signals, this stock could be worth a spot in a growth-oriented

To learn more about Mapsignals' institutional signals, please visit our "About Us" page<

Disclosure: The author holds no position in Mastercard shares at the time of publica

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