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5 Stocks Showing Relative Strength in a Weak Market

Stocks in this article: NFLX MNTA CADX WCRX PCYC

Pharmacyclics

One more stock that's displaying relative strength today is Pharmacyclics (PCYC), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing small-molecule drugs for the treatment of cancer and immune mediated diseases. This is a market leading stock, with shares up over 98% so far in 2011.

It looks like traders continue to jump into this stock ahead of a key data releases and clinical/regulatory updates at the American Society of Hematology in December. RBC Capital recently said it expects Pharmacyclics to report positive data on two of its drugs; RBC has a $15 price target on the stock.

If you look at the chart for Pharmacyclics, you'll see that this stock is quickly approaching a major near-term breakout if it can manage to move above $12.19 a share. A move above that near-term overhead resistance with strong volume should be viewed bullish by market-players. Traders should look for a volume move above that level that clocks in at close to or over its three-month average action of 772,000 shares.

At last check, this stock was down 5 cents at $11.81 after showing some great relative strength earlier in the day, with shares gaining 2.5% to 12.16. Once could buy this stock off any weakness in anticipation of a breakout over $12.19. I would add aggressively to any long position once the stock takes out its 52-week high of $13.09. I would use a stop just below $11 a share, which is an important near-term support zone, or simply use a stop that's not far below where you get long depending on your risk tolerance.

The current short interest as a percentage of the float for Pharmacylcis is a rather large 8.7%. It's also worth mentioning that the bears have been increasing their bets from the last reporting period by 6.7%, or about 243,400 shares. If this stock breaks out in the coming days or weeks, then the shorts are going to be under pressure to cover their bets to avoid any more losses. I recently featured the stock in " 5 Heavily Shorted Stocks That Could Pop."

To see more stocks that are displaying relative strength in this red tape, including ICF International (ICFI), Amicus Therapeutics (FOLD) and Range Resources (RRC), check out the Relative Strength Stock Plays portfolio on Stockpickr.

-- Written by Roberto Pedone in Winderemere, Fla.

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At the time of publication, author had no positions in stocks mentioned.

Roberto Pedone, based out of Windermere, Fla., is an independent trader who focuses on stocks, options, futures, commodities and currencies. He is also an outside contributor to Beconequity.com and maintains the website Maddmoney.net, which he sold to Blue Wave Advisors in 2008. Roberto studied International Business at The Milwaukee School of Engineering, and he spent a year overseas studying business in Lubeck, Germany.
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