Three S&P 500 stocks (and two Dow names) could be a buy heading into earnings

Wall Street is awash in earnings this week with roughly 30 percent of the S&P 500 reporting on their recent quarters.

Ari Wald, head of technical analysis at Oppenheimer, and Michael Binger, president of Gradient Investments, give their picks for stocks to buy heading into the releases.

On the right track

"Within the industrial sector, the long is Union Pacific, correcting in an uptrend," Wald said on CNBC's "Trading Nation" on Monday. It's "really part of a rails industry that's best of industrials."

Union Pacific has rallied 7 percent this year, better than the 4 percent drop in the XLI industrial ETF.

Wald says he would steer clear of defense company Raytheon, saying its price is breaking down in a broadly weak capital goods industry.

Union Pacific and Raytheon report earnings before the bell on Thursday.

Pay it forward

Wald is also making a bet on Dow stock Visa, which he says should benefit from "broad-based strength" in the mobile payment software services space. Also in technology, Wald says he would stay away from Intel, which is breaking down on weakness in the semis space.

Visa report after the bell Wednesday, and Intel is scheduled for after the bell Thursday.

Good Intel

Unlike Wald, Binger sees value in Dow stock Intel.

Intel "is the dominant semiconductor company. I don't think they're going to lose that to AMD in the future," Binger said on "Trading Nation" on Monday. "Buy this company cheap, you'll do fine over time."

A summer slump took Intel shares negative for the year. Its stock is down nearly 16 percent over the past three months.

Stacking paper

International Paper "has gone from the mid-$60s down to $40. I think it's very cheap at eight times earnings," said Binger. "It's got an extremely strong dividend. … I think you buy it now, you get a great yield and you get a good relief rally."

International Paper has tumbled 30 percent this year and is deep in bear market territory.

The company is slated to report earnings before market open on Thursday.

The new face of media

"I like plain old boring AT&T down here," said Binger. "It's changing itself, its business model skewing. It's more of a media conglomerate now. I think this Time Warner acquisition is going to add value over time."

AT&T has tumbled 16 percent this year, tracking for its worst annual performance since 2008.

It will report before the bell Wednesday.

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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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