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Pacific Ethanol, Force Protection: Early Volume Plays

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Several stocks trading near $5 were poised to move on above-average volume during Monday's session.

Pacific Ethanol (PEIX - Get Report) fell by 10 cents, or 4.9%, to $1.95 in the premarket session after the company announced it has agreements designed to satisfy $34.7 million of outstanding debt and to cure existing defaults on the debt. Socius CG II has purchased $5 million of the company's debt and then settled the debt in exchange for free-trading shares of Pacific Ethanol's common stock. Socius intends to acquire the balance of the debt and engage in further exchanges until the total debt is completely retired, the company said. The 50-day average daily volume for Pacific Ethanol is 5.55 million, according to the Nasdaq.

Force Protection (FRPT - Get Report) may trade higher Monday after Merriman Curhan Ford analysts reiterated a buy rating on the ballistic-protected products maker's shares, arguing that the stock has a potential valuation range of $7 to $8 a share. In addition, Merriman analysts said they expect a strong 2011, with an acquisition or a share buyback likely. The 50-day average daily volume for Force Protection is 613,000 shares. The stock closed Friday at $5.51.

Lexicon Pharmaceuticals (LXRX - Get Report) slid by 6 cents, or 3.4%, to $1.72 in the premarket session after the company announced a proposed $95 million common stock offering. The 50-day average daily volume for Lexicon is 778,000.

CapitalSource (CSE) may see increased volume after JMP Securities upgraded the stock to market outperform from market perform with a stock price target of $7.50. Shares close Friday at $5.82. The three-month average daily volume for CapitalSource is 2.82 million, according to Yahoo! Finance.

-- Written by Robert Holmes in Boston.

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