Stock Quotes in this Article: GILD, JCP, QLGC, REGN, STX, XRTX

WINDERMERE, Fla. (Stockpickr) -- At Stockpickr, we track daily portfolios of stocks that are hitting new 52-week highs and 52-week lows.

When you see a stock that’s hitting new 52-week highs, it often means that the uptrend is very strong and the buyers are in full control (and the opposite for stocks setting new 52-week lows). Momentum traders often look at the 52-week high lists to find new trading ideas. Keep in mind, though, that new highs can also mean that the stock is overbought or has run up too far too fast.

>>5 Stocks Under $10 Set to Trigger Big Moves

That’s why it’s important before you make an investing or trading decision to combine a number of technical indicators with fundamental trends, discipline and sound money management.

With that in mind, let's take a closer look at several stocks that hit new 52-week highs today.

 

Seagate Technology

Seagate Technology (STX), one of the top-yielding computer hardware stocks, designs, manufactures, markets and sells hard disk drives. This stock is trading up 4.8% to $20.76 in recent trading after hitting a 52-week high of $21 earlier in the day.

Today’s Range: $20.32-$21

52-Week Range: $9.05-$20.09

Volume: 13.5 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 10.2 million

Seagate Technology has a market cap of $8.7 billion and an enterprise value of $8.9 billion. The stock trades at a trailing price-to-earnings of 18.91 and forward price-to-earnings of 4.32. Its estimated growth rate for this year is 292.7%, and for the next year it’s pegged at -1.60%.

From a technical standpoint, STX has triggered a big breakout trade today now that this stock is moving above some near-term overhead resistance at $20 to $20.69 on big volume. Market players should continue to look for long biased trades in STX as long as the stock closes above those breakout levels and near its daily highs today.

The next significant overhead resistance level for STX sits at $21.26.

Seagate, one of David Einhorn's Greenlight Capital holdings, shows up on a list of 10 Dividend Stocks to Keep You Safe Into 2012.

Xyratex

Xyratex (XRTX), also one of the top-yielding computer hardware stocks, is a provider of modular enterprise-class data storage subsystems and storage process technology. This stock is trading up 2.2% at $16.20 in recent trading after hitting a 52-week high of $16.40 earlier in the day.

Today’s Range: $15.84-$16.40

52-Week Range: $7.58-$16.20

Volume: 172,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 319,897

Xyratex has a market cap of $450 million and an enterprise value of $304 million. The stock trades at a trailing price-to-earnings 17.75 and a forward price-to-earnings of 9.55. Its estimated growth rate for this year is 38.6%, and for next year it’s pegged at -2.8%.

From a technical standpoint, XRTX is moving within range of a two-year breakout if this stock can manage to clear $17 to $17.68 with high volume in the coming days or weeks. At last check, the stock is changing hands at around $16.30, so you can see the stock is very close to challenging those 2010 breakout levels.

Traders should watch for a sustained high-volume move or close over $17 to $17.68 to trigger a major breakout. Look for volume that’s near or above 319,897 if XRTX takes those levels out. If we get that action, I would target a run back toward the next significant overhead resistance level at $20.45.

QLogic

QLogic (QLGC) designs and supplies network infrastructure connectivity products that provide, enhance and manage computer data communication. This stock is trading up 3.5% at $17.65 in recent trading after hitting a 52-week high of $19 earlier in the day.

Today’s Range: $17.46-$19

52-Week Range: $11.95-$18.83

Volume: 2.7 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 1 million

QLogic has a market cap of $1.82 billion and an enterprise value of $1.32 billion. The stock trades at a trailing price-to-earnings of 13.28 and a forward price-to-earnings of 11.95. Its estimated growth rate for this year is -10.4%, and for next year it’s pegged at 9.4%.

From a technical standpoint, QLGC is gaping up sharply today on monster volume. This big gap up has pushed the stock right under a major previous resistance level at $19.18. It has also created an overbought condition since QLGC’s relative strength index (RSI) reading is now 82.44.

If this stock closes well off the daily highs today, then I would wait for it to work off some of the overbought conditions before getting long. That said, any future high-volume move over $19.18 should be considered bullish for QLGC.

J.C. Penny

J.C. Penny's (JCP) business is consists of selling merchandise and services to consumers through its department stores and through the Internet Web site at jcp.com. This stock is trading up 1% at $41.13 in recent trading after hitting a 52-week of $41.42 earlier in the day.

Today’s Range: $40.02-$41.42

52-Week Range: $23.44-$41.24

Volume: 13.7 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 4.6 million

J.C. Penny has a market cap of $8.7 billion and an enterprise value of $10.71 billion. The stock trades at a trailing price-to-earnings of 44.62 and a forward price-to-earnings of 24.75. Its estimated growth rate for this year is -20.8%, and for this year it’s pegged 31%.

From a technical standpoint, JCP has started to trigger a major breakout trade today with the stock moving above some past overhead resistance at $40.23 on solid volume. Market players should continue to look for long biased trades in JCP as long as the stock can sustain its current trend above $40.23 with strong upside volume flows.

I would target a run back toward $45 to $50 if JCP can stay in breakout territory.

J.C.Penney, which shows up on a list of 6 Retailers Banking on a New CEO in 2012, was also featured recently in "5 Retail Stocks That Could Pop in 2012."

Gilead Sciences

Gilead Sciences (GILD) focuses on the development and commercialization of human therapeutics for life threatening diseases. This stock is trading up 0.31% at $48.74 in recent trading after hitting a 52-week of $48.99 earlier in the day.

Today’s Range: $48.33-$48.99

52-Week Range: $34.45-$48.78

Volume: 5.5 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 9.4 million

Gilead Sciences has a market cap of $36.5 billion and an enterprise value of $38 billion. The stock trades at a trailing price-to-earnings of 14.21 and a forward price-to-earnings of 11.95. Its estimated growth rate for this year is 6.5%, and for this year it’s pegged 3.6%.

From a technical standpoint, GILD is approaching a breakout trade that would trigger once the stock clears some overhead resistance at $49.50 to $50. A move above those levels would push GILD into price levels not seen since 2008.

That said, the current relative strength index (RSI) reading for GILD is now at 84.64. That’s an extremely overbought condition, so traders might want to wait for a pullback before looking for long biased trades.

Gilead, one of Third Point's holdings, shows up on a list of 5 Biotech Stocks for 2012.

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN) is a biopharmaceutical company that discovers, develops, and commercializes pharmaceutical products for the treatment of serious medical conditions. This stock is trading up 3.9% to $85.03 in recent trading after hitting a 52-week high of $86.13 earlier today.

Today’s Range: $81.55-$86.13

52-Week Range: $33.36-$83.40

Volume: 826,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 1.3 million

Regeneron has a market cap of $7.7 billion and an enterprise value of $7.3 billion. The stock trades at a trailing price-to-sales of 16.32 and a price-to-book of 17.40. Its estimated growth rate for this year is -102.4%, and for next year it’s pegged at 25.1%.

From a technical standpoint, REGN has moved into all-time-high territory today now that the stock has cleared some near-term overhead resistance at $80 to $82.50. Shares of REGN are probably on a collision course with $100, but I would expect to see a pullback soon since its relative strength index (RSI) reading is now 81.

That 81 reading indicates an overbought stock, and REGN is now well extended above both its 50-day and 200-day moving averages.

To see more stocks hitting new 52-week highs today, check out the Stocks Hitting New 52-Week Highs portfolio on Stockpickr.

-- Written by Roberto Pedone in Winderemere, Fla.

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At the time of publication, author had on positions in stocks mentioned.

Roberto Pedone, based out of Windermere, Fla., is an independent trader who focuses on stocks, options, futures, commodities and currencies. He is also an outside contributor to Beconequity.com and maintains the website Maddmoney.net, which he sold to Blue Wave Advisors in 2008. Roberto studied International Business at The Milwaukee School of Engineering, and he spent a year overseas studying business in Lubeck, Germany.