Another under-$10 name in the biotechnology and drugs complex that looks ready to trigger a major breakout trade is Alexza Pharmaceuticals (ALXA - Get Report), a pharmaceutical company focused on the research, development and commercialization of products for the acute treatment of central nervous system conditions. This stock has been hammered by the bears so far in 2012, with shares down by over 50%.
If you take a look at the chart for Alexza Pharmaceuticals, you'll see that this stock sold off hard recently from $4.99 to a low of around $2.90 a share. During that slide lower, shares of ALXA were consistently making lower highs and lower lows, which is bearish technical price action. Once ALXA found some support near $2.90 a share, the buyers stepped in with huge volume and the stock saw a one-day spike that took it to $4.30 a share. Now shares of ALXA are trending within range of triggering another major breakout trade.
Traders should look for long-biased trades in ALXA if it can manage to trigger a breakout above some near-term overhead resistance at $4.30 a share, and then above $4.87 to $4.99 a share with high volume. Look for volume off a sustained move or close above those levels that hits near or above its three-month average action of 356,088 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then ALXA will have a great chance of filling some of its previous gap down from May that started at $7.60 a share.Traders can look to get long ALXA off weakness, and simply use a stop right around its 50-day moving average of $3.57 a share. Once could also get long once it takes out $4.30 a share with decent volume, and then simply use a stop near today's low of $3.86 a share. Keep in mind that once ALXA movers over $4.30 it will break out above a key downtrend line, so the move to the upside could be very powerful if we get it with volume.