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FedEx is a 'bottom-fishing' stock heading into earnings, technical analyst says

Bad news for FedEx baked into stock, says investing pro

It's return to sender for FedEx.

The delivery company heads into its earnings release Tuesday with major losses. The stock has tumbled 36% from a 52-week high set in September, more than any of its peers.

But the worst could be over for FedEx after its sharp sell-off, says Craig Johnson, chief technical analyst at Piper Jaffray.

"It has taken enough pain. I look at FedEx as a bottom-fishing candidate," Johnson said on CNBC's "Trading Nation" on Friday. "It has pulled back about 44% off the highs you've seen in January of 2018 and it looks like you're forming some sort of double bottom in here."

A double bottom is formed when a stock falls to a low, rebounds, falls to another comparable low and rebounds once more. The twice-hit low marks a support level.

"You've got really good support at $150," Johnson said. "Sentiment seems really negative. I'd be a buyer of this stock in here and I think a lot of the bad news is already baked into these shares."

FedEx would need to fall 10% to find support at that $150 level. It came close to that level before bouncing back at the year's lows in early June, and previously at the December bottom.

FedEx isn't the only transports stock stuck in neutral. The group has fallen into a correction having dropped more than 10% from 52-week highs. Like FedEx, names including J.B. Hunt, American Airlines, and Avis are down at least 20% and stuck in a bear market.

Steve Chiavarone, portfolio manager at Federated Investors, says relief for the beleaguered transports is coming from the Federal Reserve.

"We know that the business sector has been a little bit weak. We see that in the freight volumes. We've had the overhang from trade and all the kind of uncertainty around that weighing on its sentiment," Chiavarone during the same segment on Friday. "So when [the Fed does] eventually cut for those reasons, it's going to help to have a reacceleration in the economy. We think that's going to benefit all cyclicals, transports in particular."

Markets are pricing in the near certainty of a fed funds rate cut at the end of July because Fed members dropped the word "patient" from their June statement and added that the "case for somewhat more accommodative policy has strengthened." The chances of a 25-basis-point rate cut at the July meeting was at 67% on Monday, according to CME fed funds futures.

"The only thing for us is we prefer UPS over FedEx within our Federated fund — a little bit better yield, a little bit more of a self-help story. But we think the whole group can improve here," said Chiavarone.

Disclosure: Federated Investors holds UPS shares.