Cisco looks primed for buying as Amazon, Microsoft start to look rich, Piper Jaffray technician says

The Nasdaq is poised to start September on a high, after its best monthly performance since the peak of the 2000 dot-com bubble.

Big surges in tech names including Apple, Amazon, Cisco, and Nvidia propelled the index higher to hit records three times in the final week of the month. However, some of those stocks now look a little stretched to Craig Johnson, chief market technician at Piper Jaffray.

"Let's break down some of these stocks. First, if you look at Apple, this is almost a parabolic-looking chart and parabolic charts typically end poorly," Johnson said on CNBC's "Trading Nation" on Friday.

Apple surged more than 19 percent in August, in its best monthly gain since April 2009. It made history earlier in the month when it passed $1 trillion in market cap, a first for a U.S. publicly-traded company.

Some Wall Street bulls are looking at Amazon, or perhaps even Microsoft, as the next big tech titan to reach that milestone. First, they have to give back some gains, Johnson said.

"Amazon, great-looking chart, but we'd be a buyer of that stock toward $1,825 on a pullback," Johnson told CNBC. Meanwhile, software giant Microsoft also has good technical indicators, with Johnson suggesting the stock would be a buy if it pulls back toward $105.

On Friday, Microsoft closed above $112, while Amazon settled over $2000. A move to $1,825 in Amazon represents a 9 percent decline from its Friday close, while $105 in Microsoft would mark a 7 percent drop.

Johnson added that its Cisco, an older tech bellwether, that could be poised for a run to the upside. The stock, trading under $50 with a relatively low market cap near $225 billion, may be a value pick for some investors.

"Cisco has finally just broken out of the consolidation range it's been in since all of 2018," the analyst said. "I can see a measured objective here into kind of the $51, $52 range on this breakout and that's a stock I'd be buying here today."

A move to at least $51 represents a 7 percent increase from Cisco's Friday close. It would also mark its highest level since late 2000.

Like Johnson, Gradient Investments president Michael Binger liked Cisco, but also sees value in another tech leader.

"We own Apple and Cisco right now," Binger said on "Trading Nation" on Friday. "They're both cheap, they're both under 20 times next 12 months' earnings. Both fundamentals are really good right now. I think you could buy either one of those right now."

Cisco trades with a price-to-earnings ratio of nearly 16 times forward earnings, while Apple has a 17 times multiple. The Nasdaq Composite has a P-E ratio of 22 times forward earnings.

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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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