As Amazon cracks $1 trillion, chart watcher warns the stock is trading at extremes 

Amazon made history on Tuesday, becoming the second U.S.-listed public company to enter the $1 trillion market-cap club (Apple was first, last month). The stock surged to an all-time high, bringing its already mammoth 2018 rise to 75 percent.

While shareholders have been handsomely rewarded, Amazon's meteoric gains have one market strategist warning against chasing the stock at this juncture.

Matt Maley, equity strategist at Miller Tabak, wrote in a note to clients early on Tuesday — just before Amazon hit the $1 trillion milestone — that the tech giant's extraordinarily overbought condition places the stock in a precarious position. He cites the name's relative strength index, a measure of momentum using how quickly its price changes.

"The stock has obviously had a great run here, and on a couple of things that I look at, it's getting quite extended," Maley said later Tuesday, elaborating on CNBC's "Trading Nation."

"It seems to be getting quite extreme, and I think the stock could pull back," he said, adding the name is now trading at a stunning 136 percent premium to its 200-week moving average.

Still, he wouldn't short the stock here, or sell it; after all, Amazon's relative strength index surged to its highest-ever reading in 1999, and managed to rally back in the long term. But he'd avoid entering at these levels.

The stock has become something of a juggernaut. Wall Street analysts on average rate Amazon a buy, and FactSet analyst data show not one firm carries a sell rating as the company has managed to disrupt a multitude of industries and post massive gains for its shareholders; still, its valuation is a hard pill to swallow.

Amazon trades at a lofty 159.71 times trailing earnings, compared with the broader market's multiple of around 21 times trailing earnings.

"At valuations like this, you've got to scratch your head and think, 'Do I really want to buy it at this point?'" Gina Sanchez, CEO of Chantico Global, said Tuesday on "Trading Nation."

"The biggest concern about Amazon tends to be the fact that it's a low-margin stock. They obviously have proved that they finally can make money. This used to be the world's largest nonprofit company, so now it has a profit. But the margins are low, and if you look at [price-earnings], their P/E is off the charts," Sanchez said.

At the same time, Sanchez is optimistic about its cloud services segment, and sees that as a chief source of growth for the company.

Amazon closed 1.3 percent higher Tuesday, at $2,039.51 per share, below the $1 trillion market-cap threshold.

Vote to see results
Total Votes:

Not a Scientific Survey. Results may not total 100% due to rounding.


Trades to Watch

Trader Bios


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

Read more