MSFT: Party Like it's 1999

A single change in life can be the precursor for many more to come.

Whether it’s a constructive modification to our diets, our exercise regimens, or our approach to time management, a fresh outlook is often the key to rejuvenating our overall sense of well-being and productivity.

One change always leaves the way open for the establishment of others.
— Niccolo Machiavelli, "The Prince", 1469 - 1527

This is no different in the world of the stock market. Investors recognize companies that evolve and change with the times as forward-thinking and capable of adapting to ever shifting market dynamics. Increased investor interest is then reflected in a rising stock price and a boost in bullish sentiment, as Wall Street projects better things to come for the company in question. 

This reality is especially true in the technology sector, as companies incessantly compete to bring to market the latest and most innovative products. A great example of a change story received favorably by Wall Street in the past several years is that of Microsoft.

There's a New Sheriff in Town

The best thing that ever happened to Microsoft from a shareholder perspective in recent memory is the selection of the company’s newest CEO, Satya Nadella, in February 2014.

Nadella is just the third CEO in Microsoft’s entire history. He steps into the position that had formerly been held by Steve Ballmer since January 2000. This change of leadership has significantly impacted investor attitude towards the company’s stock.

After Ballmer announced in August 2013 that he would be stepping down, MSFT pushed through and held above $36 in the months that followed. This price level had previously been multi-year resistance going back to the Fall of 2007.

$MSFT : Microsoft Corp.

As evident from the chart above, MSFT is now trading at price levels not initially breached since 1999. Since February 2014, MSFT has broken through $40 and has not closed below it on the monthly time frame ever since.

The stock is now up over $15 a share since Ballmer proclaimed the approaching end to his leadership. It took the appointment of a new CEO to reignite investor interest that had otherwise been anemic for much of the last decade.

+DMI crossed above –DMI in early 2014 and has held consistently above it since then, conveying that the bulls have been in control over the bears. Interestingly, this coincides with Nadella assuming the throne at the tech giant. Additionally, the ADX is rising, indicating a trending move higher in favor of the bulls in this case.

MSFT closed on Friday at $46.69 a share. Looking ahead, the stock is likely to find resistance above its current price level, given the congestion zone extending up to the $50 level that goes back to the Tech Bubble years.

If the bulls are able to push above $50 and hold to gains there, things could get interesting. MSFT's all time high is $59.97, last achieved in December 1999.

For now, Microsoft shareholders have every reason to celebrate and party like it's 1999.