Alphabet, Apple and two other stocks to buy as the S&P nears records

After more than six months since its last high, the S&P 500 is back on the road to records.

With less than 15 points to go before the index cracks that mark, one technician is combing through it for the best picks at their peak.

"We think the S&P is going to breakthrough that January resistance. The bull market is resuming. You want to own stocks," Ari Wald, head of technical analysis at Oppenheimer, told CNBC's "Trading Nation" on Tuesday. "Three names we like: Medtronic, EOG Resources and Alphabet."

In a health-care sector set to break out, Wald said medical technology stock Medtronic is among the strongest.

"Medtronic just getting above multiyear resistance at $90, that's a fresh breakout, something you want to buy," said Wald.

Medtronic broke above $90 at the end of July, a level the stock had bumped against in mid-2016 and mid-2017. Its shares hit an all-time high of $91.23 on Wednesday.

On EOG Resources, Wald said the stock is rallying even as its energy peers pull back. EOG hit an all-time high on July 30.

"EOG is breaking above resistance from 2014, around that $118 level or so. Very attractive risk reward," said Wald. "If energy works, I think this stock really goes higher. It has a lot more support on the downside."

His final pick, Alphabet, is a strong industry leader in an already solid sector, said Wald.

"Tech is broadly strong across capitalization, across industries. This sector's going to continue to work," he said. "Google, breaking out to the upside, breaking above $1,200, that's a resumption to the stocks' long-term uptrend."

Alphabet hit an all-time high just above $1,291 on July 27. It's up 20 percent so far this year, while the XLK technology ETF has gained 15 percent.

Bill Baruch, president of Blue Line Futures, sees Apple as the breakout star of the space over Alphabet.

"You can't argue with the momentum," he said on Tuesday's "Trading Nation" "I said it was a buy at $188, $190 and I still think it's a buy and I would buy it at $210, especially for the longer term."

Apple's earnings rally last week pushed it to a $1 trillion in market cap, the first U.S. publicly traded company to get to that level. It hit an all-time high of $209.50 on Tuesday.

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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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