Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE: MAR)

When it comes a stock hitting a 52-week high, I prefer to look for ones hitting a “new” high. In my view, that would be a stock that hasn’t hit a new 52-week high in quite some time, and more importantly, I want the stock to have broken through a key area of resistance. This way I know that it wasn’t just any move higher, it was an important breakout.

Marriott International, Inc. operates, franchises, and licenses hotels and corporate housing properties worldwide. The company operates and franchises hotels and resorts under various brands, including Marriott Hotels & Resorts, JW Marriott, Renaissance Hotels, Autograph Collection, Courtyard, Fairfield Inn & Suites, SpringHill Suites, Residence Inn, TownePlace Suites, The Ritz-Carlton, Bulgari Hotels & Resorts, and EDITION, as well as AC Hotels by Marriott. It also licenses the development, operation, marketing, and sale of vacation ownership properties under the Marriott Vacation Club, Grand Residences by Marriott, Ritz-Carlton Destination Club, and Ritz-Carlton Residences brands to the Marriott Vacations Worldwide Corporation. In addition, the company operates Marriott Executive Apartments that provide temporary housing for business executives; and Marriott conference centers. As of December 30, 2011, it operated, franchised, or licensed 3,718 lodging properties with 643,196 rooms that include 32 home and condominium products with 3,838 units, as well as provided 2,166 furnished corporate housing rental units. The company was founded in 1971 and is headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland.

To review Marrott’s stock, please take a look at the 1-year chart of MAR (Marriott International, Inc.) below with my added notations:

1-year chart of MAR (Marriott International, Inc.)

After moving higher from October of last year, MAR has stalled since April while running into a $40 resistance (red). The $40 level is a clear resistance level that would signify an important 52-week high breakout if the stock could manage to break above it. IF that were to happen, the stock should probably be heading higher overall.

The Tale of the Tape: MAR has formed a key resistance level at $40, which would be a 52-week high breakout if the stock can break above it. A long trade could be entered if MAR breaks above $40 with a stop set below the level of entry.

Before making any trading decision, decide which side of the trade you believe gives you the highest probability of success. Do you prefer the short side of the market, long side, or do you want to be in the market at all? If you haven’t thought about it, review the overall indices themselves. For example, take a look at the S&P 500. Is it trending higher or lower? Has it recently broken through a key resistance or support level? Making these decisions ahead of time will help you decide which side of the trade you believe gives you the best opportunities.

No matter what your strategy or when you decide to enter, always remember to use protective stops and you’ll be around for the next trade. Capital preservation is always key!

Good luck!

Christian Tharp, CMT