How Far Will This Blue Chip Stock Leader Rise From Its New Breakout?

Global branded apparel play and blue chip stock leader Nike (NKE) headed a relative mild list of stocks hitting new highs Friday. The Dow Jones industrial average component leapt as much as 13% and hit an all-time high of 81.

Volume was more than quadruple the stock’s 50-day average. That’s a telltale sign that banks, hedge funds, pension plans and mutual funds stormed into the stock.

While short covering may have helped the cause, the total short interest in Nike is actually quite small. Through June 15, roughly 22 million shares were sold short. That compares with a float of 1.25 billion shares.

The athleisure apparel and shoe giant looks to follow in the footsteps of another blue chip stock leader, Apple (AAPL), in the sense that the company is blazing a fresh path of double-digit earnings growth. That’s good for the longs on Wall Street.

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The stock has now ramped up as much as 15% past a recent breakout from a flat base at 70.35. The 5% buy zone went up to 73.87.

In its latest results for the fiscal fourth quarter ended in May, Nike late Thursday reported a 15% jump in profit to 69 cents a share. That beat the Thomson Reuters estimate by a nickel. Revenue climbed 13% to $9.79 billion. That’s the best combination of top- and bottom-line increases since the Beaverton, Ore., company posted a 23% rise in EPS on 15% revenue growth in the second quarter of fiscal 2015.