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Stocks  | February 24, 2020

The IBD Live Team discussed stocks to buy and watch during Friday's episode. Among stocks on the move today, the Team analyzed a pullback in Microsoft stock. The IBD Long Term Leader pulled back in heavy volume but held above the 10-week moving average.

Time To Sell Microsoft Stock Or Continue Holding?

Stocks sold off across the board on Friday as the coronavirus contagion worsened in South Korea and Japan. At least six of the 30 Dow Jones components, including Microsoft (MSFT), dropped 2% or more.

A move to new highs followed by a significant decline in heavy volume serves as a key indicator to at least manage the position with an eye toward selling. That's exactly what Microsoft stock has done, as the stock pulled back on Friday in heavy volume.

Since Microsoft stock's strong move from the October 142.47 flat-base buy point, the cloud computing and software firm had mounted a gain of as much as 34%. But due to the market sell-off Friday, Microsoft stock sold off as much as 3%, triggering a key warning sign.

However, Microsoft stock has yet to break and close below the key 10-week moving average in heavy volume, which would trigger a key defensive sell rule.

Today's strong move left many investors asking during the IBD Live show: What's the best way to handle Microsoft stock? Should you trim your holding now, or wait for confirmation from a trigger of the defensive sell rule?

Among the 30 Dow Jones stocks, Microsoft stock ranks No. 2 in terms of the Relative Strength Rating. Microsoft stock also ranks No. 2 in terms of Composite Rating in the desktop software industry group.

With an RS Rating of 92, Microsoft is beating 92% of all stocks over the past 12 months in terms of price performance.

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