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FedEx earnings could save lagging industrials

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The only sector negative in March may be setting up for big rally

FedEx is set to report earnings after the bell.

A solid earnings report could lift one lagging group: the industrials. Weighed on by Boeing's recent sell-off, it is the only S&P sector in the red in March with losses of nearly 2 percent.

Mark Tepper, president and CEO of Strategic Wealth Partners, said FedEx and the freight and logistics slice of the industrials should continue to drive higher.

"We want to take advantage of all this e-commerce growth that we're expecting, and right now e-commerce sales as a percentage of total retail sales is around 12, 13 percent. By 2025 it should be around 25 percent of total sales," Tepper said Monday on CNBC's "Trading Nation." 

FedEx, in particular, looks best positioned to capture that growth, he said.

"The stock has been completely crushed because of this possible threat from Amazon logistics. But I think that's overdone. FedEx is well-aware of it and they're making moves to counter it already," Tepper said. "International weakness has been an issue for them and it's still a concern going forward but I do believe the worst is behind us so it seems as though all the bad news is already baked in."

FedEx has tumbled 27 percent over the past 12 months, far worse than the XLI industrial ETF's 1 percent decline. It is 31 percent off its 52-week high.

Ari Wald, head of technical analysis at Oppenheimer, said a different name in industrials looks the best positioned to move higher.

"One name that stands out is Ametek," Wald said Monday on "Trading Nation." "You can see the stock getting ready to break through resistance versus the S&P 500. This stock has a 200-day moving average that is starting to turn higher, that's why we'd play for that breakout."

Industrials equipment maker Ametek hit a record high Tuesday. It has risen more than 3 percent this month as the XLI ETF has tumbled 2 percent.