Amid the Dow’s ‘weakest links,’ one blue chip may rise from the wreckage

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rallied triple digits in Friday trading, on track to close out the quarter on a high note. Still, the blue-chip index is negative for the year to date, and some of its components have undergone meaningful technical damage in recent months.

A select group of underperformers is precisely what Piper Jaffray highlighted in a note to clients this week, when the firm identified five Dow stocks it deemed the “weakest links.”

Shares of Goldman Sachs, 3M, McDonald’s, IBM and Caterpillar comprise nearly a quarter of the index on an aggregate basis, and all “appear to be breaking down technically,” wrote Craig Johnson, chief market technician. Of the five beaten-down names, however, some say Goldman Sachs looks most likely to see a relief rally ahead.

Though its shares have entered into a so-called technical death cross, a typically bearish sign wherein a security’s 50-day moving average falls beneath its 200-day moving average, Johnson told CNBC’s “Trading Nation” on Thursday that its relative strength index would suggest it’s firmly in oversold territory and could see a bounce from here.

Goldman Sachs shares have badly underperformed the market this year, falling more than 12 percent in 2018 as the entire financial sector has come under pressure. Johnson said the yield curve, near its flattest since 2007, is a major factor in the group’s underperformance.

Others echo the technician’s relatively positive outlook on the stock.

“We would see some smoother price movements in the stock if we had a steeper yield curve, because right now we’ve seen the yield curve flattening and that’s going to hurt net interest margins. So in our opinion, once there’s some resolution on all these trade tensions, we think there’s going to be more confidence in the economic outlook and the yield curve’s going to steepen, which is going to help the stock,” Mark Tepper, president and CEO of Strategic Wealth Partners, said Thursday on “Trading Nation.”

Tepper pointed, too, to the stock’s relatively cheap valuation; Goldman Sachs shares are trading at nine times forward earnings.

Shares of the bank were modestly lower Friday.

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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.

Sara Eisen

Sara Eisen joined CNBC in December 2013 as a correspondent, focusing on the global consumer. She is co-anchor of the 10AM ET hour of CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" (M-F, 9AM-11AM ET), broadcast from Post 9 at the New York Stock Exchange.

In March 2018, Eisen was named co-anchor of CNBC's "Power Lunch" (M-F, 1PM-3PM ET), which broadcasts from CNBC Global Headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J.

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