Big bank breakout, Intel to new highs and one other prediction for the second half

Despite a volatile first half of the year, U.S. equities have blazed past the rest of the world.

Michael Bapis, managing director of The Bapis Group at Hightower Advisors, is on the lookout for the corners of Wall Street that can rally if the U.S. holds its lead.

He told CNBC’s “Trading Nation” on Monday about the two sectors that could have an even bigger breakout if U.S. markets can continue to outperform the rest of the world, and the one group to avoid.

  • Geopolitical events will make market noise for the rest of the year whether it’s tariff wars or elections in the U.S. and Europe. These will likely not have a major long-term impact, but markets could react in the short term.
  • Two sectors that could see the biggest gains are financials and technology, especially semiconductor stocks.
  • Financials have lagged this year. This should change: tax stimulus and a rising interest rate environment should be massively beneficial.
  • The best pick in the financials space is J.P. Morgan Chase. It’s trading at a reasonable price-to-earnings ratio and should have positive earnings to report come Friday.
  • Intel looks to be one of the best names in technology. After a roughly 50 percent rise over the past 12 months, it could break out even more – especially since its products have a place in so many different technologies.
  • One area to watch out for is the auto space. Any tariffs and trade tensions will hit these stocks harder than any other group. Ford, for example, shipped 80,000 of its vehicles to China last year, making it especially susceptible changes in trade policy between the economic powerhouses.

Bottom line: If the U.S. can lead growth through 2018, financials and technology should outperform. Auto stocks might not be so fortunate.

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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 CNBC and 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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