When it comes to tech stocks, everything old is new again

Old tech stocks are about to make a big comeback, according to one technician.

"We saw Microsoft break out a couple of years ago, we saw the semi stocks break out more recently. The question I always get is, 'What's next?'" said Ari Wald, technical analyst at Oppenheimer, who noted that the tech-heavy Nasdaq has "worked back to its peak from 2000."

Wald said two likely candidates that could answer that question are Cisco and Intel, which he thinks are headed for more upside given their top-down strength from what he calls a "strong" tech sector.

"We're watching if Cisco and Intel can follow the footsteps of Microsoft and become the next old tech stock to break through a decade-long base," Wald wrote in a recent note.

"We think [tech] is best positioned to be leadership over the coming years as it retraces the stark underperformance suffered between 2000 and 2002," he added.


Tim Seymour, managing partner at Triogem Asset Management, noted that the index, composed of big tech names, is a place with good dividends and a lot of liquidity.

Seymour points out that the M&A activity in the chip space is something that has been driving tech stocks, and he believes Cisco "is probably in the best position to outperform on a multiple basis" because the company has changed the business, going from "routing and switching" into spaces seeing higher margins, like security and software services.

The company's stock has jumped nearly 8 percent since this time last year, closing Monday at $31.19.

Intel has also seen big gains over the last year. The share price has risen nearly 35 percent, from a low of $25.87 in August 2015 to Monday's close at $34.91.

"I think both of these names are safe plays," said Seymour. "And that's one of the reasons why they're running."

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Michael Santoli

Michael Santoli joined CNBC in October 2015 as a Senior Markets Commentator, based at the network's Global Headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J.  Santoli brings his extensive markets expertise to CNBC's Business Day programming, with a regular appearance on CNBC's “Closing Bell (M-F, 3PM-5PM ET).   In addition, he contributes to CNBCand CNBC PRO, writing regular articles and creating original digital videos.

Previously, Santoli was a Senior Columnist at Yahoo Finance, where he wrote analysis and commentary on the stock market, corporate news and the economy. He also appeared on Yahoo Finance video programs, where he offered insights on the most important business stories of the day, and was a regular contributor to CNBC and other networks.

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