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One earnings short-squeeze play in computer services complex is anti-virus software maker in China
Qihoo 360 Technology(QIHU - Get Report), which is set to release numbers on Wednesday after the market close. Wall Street analysts, on average, expect Qihoo 360 Technology to report revenues of $42.07 million on earnings of 10 cents per share.
This stock spiked big on Monday with shares trading higher by 8.8% to $19.45 on decent volume ahead of their earnings report. Volume registered 992,000 shares, which is well above its three-month average of 678,000 shares. This sharp move higher also took the stock back above its 50-day moving average of $18.62 a share.
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The current short interest as a percentage of the float for Qihoo 360 Technology sits at around 5%. That means that out of the 71.18 million shares in the tradable float, 3.59 million are sold short by the bears. This isn't a huge short interest, but it's high enough to see a tradable short-squeeze develop if the bulls hear what they want.
From a technical standpoint, this stock is currently trading above its 50-day moving average, which is bullish. This stock dropped from its August high of $26.08 to a recent low of $14.30. Since hitting that low, the stock has bounced big and now trades just under $19.50 a share. Traders should now look to play the breakout after earnings for some quick profits.
The way to trade this stock is to wait until after earnings and buy it once it breaks out above some past overhead resistance at $21.50 a share on heavy volume. Look for volume that's tracking in close to or above its three-month average action of 678,000 shares. If that level gets taken out, I would then add to any long position once it clears $23 with volume. Target a run back towards $26 or possibly even higher if the bulls gain control of this stock post-earnings.
I would only get short this stock after they report earnings if it drops back below its 50-day moving average of $18.62 on heavy volume. I would then add to any short once it takes out more support at $16.35. Target a fall back toward $15 to $14.30 if the bears hammer this lower post-earnings.