According to this chart, Apple shares are approaching a critical breaking point

For Jonathan Krinsky, technical analyst MKM Partners, Apple's chart has become a heated battleground between bulls and bears.

The bears have something big going for them: Recent momentum. Apple shares have been trapped in a vortex of pain over the past year and a half, with lower highs and lower lows creating what Krinsky terms a "falling channel."

But he observes that Apple shares, which are up about 10 percent in the past month, have recently reached up to the top of this channel. And he believes that the stock is set to rise through the top of it, thanks to something else it has going for it: $90.

The story of the $90 level on Apple's chart starts in April 2012, when the stock topped out at $92 — which was then actually $644, as it was before Apple's 7-to-1 stock split. After reaching a bit higher a few months later, the tech giant remained stuck below that level until mid-2014.

Then, in 2015 and 2016, Apple's dips were frequently capped at $90. That leads Krinsky to posit that $90 is a former level of resistance that has become a level of support.

The investor can now clearly see the lines of combat surrounding the stock. Apple is set to either break up and out of its sinking channel, or to break below its significant support level of $90.

Krinsky is betting on the former, and further predicting that the stock is set to rise back to $125 or $130, which would take the tech giant near all-time highs. But this thesis is contingent on the stock's support holding.

"We'd be a buyer of Apple — as long as it's above $90," he said Monday on CNBC's "Trading Nation."

As of midday trading Tuesday, Apple shares are up about a third of a percent, in line with the overall market.


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Trading Nation is a multimedia financial news program that shows investors and traders how to use the news of the day to their advantage. This is where experts from across the financial world – including macro strategists, technical analysts, stock-pickers, and traders who specialize in options, currencies, and fixed income – come together to find the best ways to capitalize on recent developments in the market. Trading Nation: Where headlines become opportunities.

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.

Follow Michael Santoli on Twitter @michaelsantoli

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