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Alan Farley
Visa

Dow component Visa Inc. (V) price action has tracked the evolution of world economies during the COVID-19 pandemic, with credit and debit card spending plunging in the first quarter and recouping a good share of losses during the second and third quarters. Surprisingly, U.S. sales numbers are ticking higher in the fourth quarter despite surging infections around the world, forcing analysts to lift 2021 growth targets, especially in the United States.

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Visa Breakout Pattern

Better yet, Visa has completed the last stage of a cup and handle pattern, with a breakout having the potential to lift the digital payments giant at least 30% to 40% in 2021.  Accumulation readings have already hit new highs, highlighting growing optimism about economic growth under a Biden administration. Even so, the winter of 2020 – 21 could throw a few curveballs, especially if hospitals get overwhelmed or the U.S. election dispute takes an unexpected turn.

Visa reported that November spending levels were similar to October on Wednesday, with U.S. payments volume up 6% year-over-year. Debit rose a healthy 19%, highlighting the switch from paper checks to digital transactions for everyday goods, while Credit declined 5%, indicating that more customers were using savings to pay for things. Unfortunately, other countries didn’t fare as well, with the United Kingdom, Italy, and Germany reporting lower payment volumes.

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Wall Street And Technical Outlook

Wall Street has been wildly bullish on Visa for years, with a current ‘Strong Buy’ rating based upon 14 ‘Buy’ and 4 ‘Hold’ recommendations. No analysts are recommending that shareholders close positions and move to the sidelines at this time. Price targets now range from a low of $195 to a Street-high $250 while the stock opened Wednesday’s U.S. session about $13 below the median $223 target. This placement should support plenty of upside after a breakout.

The stock topped out at 214 in February after a multiyear uptrend and sold off more than 40% during the pandemic decline. A two-legged recovery wave reached the prior high in September, giving way to a secondary downdraft that found support at the 200-day moving average. Price action bounced back to the prior peak in November, ahead of narrow sideways action that has now completed weekly- and daily-scale cup and handle breakout patterns.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Disclosure: the author held no positions in aforementioned securities at the time of publication.

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