Starbucks Stock Attempts to Break Out From Resistance

Starbucks Corporation (SBUX) shares rose more than 2% on Tuesday morning following the appointment of a new chief financial officer. Patrick Grismer, a former Hyatt Hotels Corporation (H) and Yum! Brands, Inc. (YUM) executive, was appointed to the position at the coffee giant on Monday, removing a key overhang on Starbucks stock. Grismer's experience in China's restaurant industry is widely seen as a positive for the company, but investors will be watching to see if he backs prior growth guidance.

After falling sharply in late June due to restructuring concerns, Starbucks shares rallied between July and October as investors reset their expectations. Analysts remain divided on the stock, with sales missing many model expectations, but some believe that margins could improve as cost savings become a bigger focus in the future. (See also: Starbucks Stock Rallies as Coffee Prices Plummet.)

Technical chart showing the performance of Starbucks Corporation (SBUX) stock

From a technical standpoint, Starbucks stock briefly broke out from trendline resistance and prior highs to R1 resistance at $58.72 before giving up the ground later in the session. The relative strength index (RSI) is approaching overbought levels with a reading of 68.19, but the moving average convergence divergence (MACD) could see a near-term bullish crossover. These indicators suggest that there could be more consolidation before a breakout.

Traders should watch for a breakout from trendline resistance and prior highs to R1 resistance at $58.72 or R2 resistance at $60.59. If the stock fails to close above the breakout threshold, traders could see a move lower to retest the pivot point at $55.96 or lower trendline and 200-day moving average support at around $55.36 on the downside. (For more, see: How Starbucks Makes Money.)

Chart courtesy of The author holds no position in the stock(s) mentioned except through passively managed index funds.

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