The market’s top sector could fly even higher

Some strategists see more upside to high-flying technology, which is leading the market as the best-performing sector in the S&P 500 this year.

Strength in the tech space has been broadly based across small, large- and mid-cap tech stocks, said Ari Wald, Oppenheimer's head of technical analysis. More granularly, strength can also be found across the sector's industry groups — semiconductors, hardware and software names.

"So this is a sign of a healthy sector; rallies led by many stocks are usually rallies that continue," Wald said Friday on CNBC's "Power Lunch."

Examining a chart of the Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK) relative to the S&P 500, Wald noted its recent breakout through five-year resistance, back to relative levels from 2002. Such a relative breakout suggests that technology, which just logged nine-straight weeks of gains, maintains its leadership throughout the course of this year, he said.

He recommends investors buy pullbacks rather than try to time them.

To be sure, tech stocks may appear "very extended" on a short-term technical basis, said Miller Tabak equity strategist Matt Maley. But in the longer-term, he is bullish, examining a chart of the Nasdaq 100 ETF (QQQ).

The QQQ is trading roughly 30 percent above its 200-week moving average, which may give some market watchers reason to believe the trade is overbought.

"But in the last five nice rallies we've had in the [QQQ], it had to get to over 40 percent above its 200-week moving average, so you could still see some more upside here," Maley said.


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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.

Follow Michael Santoli on Twitter @michaelsantoli

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