Airline stocks closed out a turbulent week of trading on a high note, but one top technician says the bumpy ride is likely to persist—and any bounces should be sold.
Recently, the NYSE ARCA Airline Index lost altitude before rebounding from lows hit on Tuesday. It's just the latest bout of volatility in a sector that has underperformed the market of late, and is down nearly 10 percent on the year.
However, according to Oppenheimer Head of Technical Analysis Ari Wald, airline weakness is not necessarily a bad sign for the broader market.
"We think the high conviction trade is to sell any bounce attempts in airlines," Wald said in an interview on CNBC's "Fast Money." "With airlines there has been some technical damage that will require not only downside, which we've had, but additional time…to stabilize," he added.
According to Wald, the longer-term trend in the airline index has broken down, after making a "big top" earlier this year. despite the pullback in the airlines, Wald said the sector's weakness is actually "not a reliable topping signal for the broader market."
"What we think is happening here is ongoing industry rotation, more of a concentrated weakness within transports," he told CNBC.