One stock that's trading right below a couple of key technical breakout levels is KiOR (KIOR), a renewable fuels company that has developed a technology platform to convert non-food biomass into hydrocarbon-based oil. This stock is blazing a trail so far in 2012, with shares up over 19%.
If you look at the chart for KiOR, you'll notice that the bears dismantled this stock from its late November high of $18.39 to a recent low of just $8.67 a share. After printing that low, the stock found some big buying support right around $9 a share, and since then it has rallied strong to its current price of just over $12 a share. This rally has moved KIOR back above its 50-day moving average of $11.94, and it now puts the stock within range of a number of key breakout levels.
Traders should put KIOR on their radar for a breakout trade if this stock can manage to clear some near-term overhead resistance at $13.19 and $13.50 with heavy volume. Look for volume on any move above those levels that's near or well above its three-month average action of 77,521 shares. If we get that action, then this stock has a great chance to make a run at that late December high of $18.39.You could be a buyer of KIOR off any weakness and simply anticipate the breakout. I would use a mental stop that's a few percentage points below the 50-day if you buy off weakness. You could also buy off strength and get long once $13.19 is taken out with volume, and then add above $13.50 a share. This is another breakout candidate with a large amount of bears involved in the stock. The current short interest for KIOR stands at 12.4% of its tradable float. That high short interest, combined with the stock's low 16.10 million float, makes it an awesome short-squeeze candidate if we get that breakout soon. For another take on KiOR, check out " 4 Companies That Are Bleeding Cash."