Boeing is one of the best-performing stocks in the Dow Jones Industrial Average this year and is now trading within striking distance of its all-time high. One technical analyst says the stock can handily recapture those levels — and head much higher.
"This has been the standout defense stock of the year here. We're in a beautiful 2018 consolidation in [Boeing]," Todd Gordon, founder of TradingAnalysis.com, said Thursday on CNBC's "Trading Nation. "
"There is so much pent-up demand in this stock, I think it's ready to — sorry for the pun — take off," Gordon said, examining a chart of the aircraft manufacturer's shares.
Gordon pointed to the range of about 17 percent, from top to bottom, in which Boeing shares have traded this year. By projecting upward from this range, Boeing could surge next year to a target of $442 per share, or 20 percent from levels seen on Thursday.
"Obviously, we've got a lot of wood to chop, a lot of resistance, a lot of overhead supply. When the shorts who were leaning against this upside ceiling get caught, they say 'Oh no,' and they scramble to get out of those shorts. That creates the short squeeze, that brings in the momentum guys, and that should get us up to that $442 target, he said.
Gordon is most encouraged by Boeing's current uptrend channel, approaching its resistance level of around $370 per share.
"We're showing a lot of relative strength, so I would like to try to take advantage of the move through the 2018 highs," Gordon said, adding he would turn to the options market to express his bullish view.
Gordon plans to buy the October $370-strike call and sell the October $380-strike call, paying about $2 to $3 for that $10 spread. This is a bullish bet that targets that $380 level on the Oct. 19 expiration of the trade, a little more than 3 percent above where Boeing is currently trading.
"The trade's got to work in 2018. We've put a 50 percent stop-loss on that spread, so whatever you pay, position size such that if half of the premium goes away, you can close the trade, and that's within your risk profile," Gordon advised.
Boeing shares opened higher Friday.