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Wild Oats sprout to 52-week high

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Shares of retail grocer Wild Oats Markets (NASDAQ:OATS) $13.19 +22.21 triggered a spread-triple top buy signal this morning at $11.50 and have surged to a session high of $13.22 after the company announced Q1 earnings that beat analysts estimates on sales that rose 6.2% to $233 million.

Wild Oats Markets - $0.50 box

Shares of OATS are trading strong today and look bullish longer- term. We mentioned the stock earlier today in the market monitor on OI at the $12.01 level and the stock has added about $1 in gains from that point.

Wild Oats Markets Chart - Weekly Interval

Shares of OATS are breaking out of a nice 18-month base today. A longer-term bull can use the weekly chart interval as a guide to monitor levels over time. We never know for sure, but bulls not long the stock/call options would like to see some near-term pullbacks to the $11.50 level (3-box pullback on p/f chart). One way to trade here is to establish 1/2 position bullish just in case the stock continues to rise in coming sessions, as overhead supply may be limited. I'm not sure how many bulls still own the stock prior to April 2000 levels above $15.00.

Other grocers like Kroger (NYSE:KR) $23.46 +3.34% show this stock breaking above its 200-day MA today. Safeway (NYSE:SWY) $42.29 +3.27% is approaching a test of its downward trending 200-day MA at $43.10 and Albertsons (NYSE:ABS) $33.41 +3.88% is bouncing strong after just testing its 200-day MA of $32.18 on Friday. Traders may want to keep a close eye on ABS near-term as the stock would give a triple-top buy signal at $36 and have the point/figure chart building a bullish vertical count column at that level to an initial reading of $44.

Applied Materials ready to undergo first test

Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) $23.21 +4.64% like what they see from the stock today as the stock leads gainer in the Semiconductor Index (SOX.X) 493 +2.67%. We're monitoring the stock's action and bulls understand their "first hurdle" for further bullishness most likely comes at the $23.40 level of retracement.

Applied Materials Chart - Daily Interval

AMAT bulls like what they see from the stock today as the stock is the biggest gainer in the Semiconductor Index (SOX.X). "Like stocks" have Novellus (NASDAQ:NVLS) $45.09 +3.58% and KLA-Tencor (NASDAQ:KLAC) $54.43 +3.14% holding the number 2 and 3 gains, hinting that semiconductor equipment stocks are grabbing the bulk of bullish sponsorship. This is something we've commented about in recent months.

Jeff Bailey
Senior Market Technician
Option Investor

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