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5 Huge Stocks to Trade for December Gains

Tickers in this article: F BAC INTC AAPL XEC
BALTIMORE ( Stockpickr) -- A few months ago, who'd have thought that a rally in European stocks would be threatened by the political process here at home? It's supposed to be the other way around!

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But sure enough, big European stocks are pushing up against 2012 highs this week as the political horse-trading on Capitol Hill continues to get ugly. At this rate, neither party is going to be making Santa's "nice list" this Christmas. But despite the politicking that's grabbing the headlines, things are still looking productive on Wall Street right now.

The S&P 500 has already retraced half of its correction from the last couple of months, a positive sign now that the big index sits within eyeshot of its own high water mark from earlier this Fall. Between the fundamental factors and the technicals we're seeing right now, there's reason to feel good about being an investor again.

That's why we're taking a technical look at five big names that are tradable this week.

If you're new to technical analysis , here's the executive summary.

Technicals are a study of the market itself. Since the market is ultimately the only mechanism that determines a stock's price, technical analysis is a valuable tool even in the roughest of trading conditions. Technical charts are used every day by proprietary trading floors, Wall Street's biggest financial firms, and individual investors to get an edge on the market. And research shows that skilled technical traders can bank gains as much as 90% of the time.

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Every week, I take an in-depth look at big names that are telling important technical stories. Here's this week's look at the charts of five high-volume stocks to trade for gains .


Trading in Apple (AAPL) has been a train wreck this week. Yesterday, shares of the $507 billion tech behemoth fell more than 6.4% -- its biggest single-day loss in four years -- as a handful of fears come to a head for sellers. So, the real question now is whether the selling is over. At this point, that looks like a good bet.

Apple's selloff yesterday took shares to within a few points of strong support at $520, a price that's acted like a floor for shares of the technology firm the last couple of times they tested it. In real terms, $520 is a price level where buyers start to think that AAPL looks cheap again -- that's an important safety net of demand for people who own Apple right now.

Apple has a sloping resistance level up around $600 right now, giving traders a potential price barrier to keep a close eye on. That said, I think that buyers have a good opportunity to jump into Apple here with limited risk -- just wait for a bounce off of that $520 support level before pulling the trigger. Apple has been volatile lately -- traders would be wise to keep a tight stop on this name...