Semis stocks have been smacked down in the past week, falling more than 1% even as the broader market rose.
The chipmaker crush could continue and investors should be selective, warns Mark Tepper, president and CEO of Strategic Wealth Partners.
"This is where you look for companies that fit secular themes that you want to be a part of, themes you want to play, so you find them, you wait for them to fall into your lap at a price that makes sense," Tepper said on CNBC's "Trading Nation" on Friday. "Let's look at Nvidia as an example."
Nvidia has been hit hard in recent months, far worse than the broader semis industry. The stock has tumbled 13% in the past three months, while the SMH semiconductor ETF has fallen 1%. However, Nvidia has begun to outperform the SMH ETF this month.
"With Nvidia, you're getting best-of-breed exposure to all the highest growth end markets that we want to play -- autonomous vehicles, AI, data center, gaming," said Tepper. "It's trading below $145 right now. And it looks really nice in the $135 to $140 range. You might even be able to get it at around $125, and it's just a no-brainer at that level."
Nvidia would need to fall another 14% to reach $125. It touched that level at its December lows, though it has not traded firmly below there since mid-2017.
The rest of the semis space may have to endure even more swings, according to the charts.
"We're going to be chopping around a lot because the recent volatility that has been injected into the SMH feels like we're back in the beginning of 2018," MKM Partners chief market technician JC O'Hara said during the same segment. "If you remember, this ETF whipped around 15% to 20% nearly every single week."
O'Hara notes that the SMH ETF saw a major overreaction to the downside in December, which then kicked off a major overreaction to the upside earlier this year. The semis space could be in the middle of its next downswing, he says.
"Investing in the SMH is very difficult here. I think volatility is coming back. I prefer to look at individual names within it. A great-looking chart is Intel, bouncing nicely off support and charts like Micron, who undercuts support. Those are names you want to stay away from. So I really think we want to be picking our spots here," said O'Hara.
Intel has added 5% this month, slightly outperforming the SMH ETF, while Micron Technology has held flat. Micron is down 21% for the quarter.
Disclosure: Strategic Wealth Partners owns shares of Nvidia.