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5 Stocks Set to Soar on Bullish Earnings


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My final earnings short-squeeze play today is retail apparel player Express (EXPR - Get Report), which is set to release numbers on Wednesday before the market open. This company is a specialty apparel and accessory retailer offering both women's and men's merchandise. Wall Street analysts, on average, expect Express to report revenue of $467.43 on earnings of 17 cents per share.

If you're looking for a beaten-down heavily-shorted stock ahead of its earnings report this week, then make sure to check out shares of Express. This stock has been hammered by the sellers during the last six months, with shares off by over 25%. This stock is currently trading just two points off its 52-week low of $15.34 a share as we approach its earnings report.

The current short interest as a percentage of the float for Express is notable at 8.9%. That means that out of the 84.44 million shares in the tradable float, 7.6 million are sold short by the bears. This is a decent short interest on a stock with a relatively low float. Any bullish earnings news from EXPR could easily send this stock soaring post-earnings.

From a technical perspective, EXPR is currently trading below both its 50-day and 200-day moving averages, which is bearish. This stock topped out at around $18.90 a share in July and subsequently dropped to its recent low of $15.34 a share. During that sharp move lower, shares of EXPR were consistently making lower highs and lower lows, which is bearish technical price action. That said, the stock has found buying interest at around $15.34 to $15.49 a share, and it's now ripped higher towards its current price of $17 a share.

If you're bullish on EXPR, then I would wait until after they report earnings and look for long-biased trades if it can manage to trigger a breakout trade above its 50-day moving average of $17.27 a share with high volume. If we get that action, then look for EXPR to re-test and possibly take out its next significant overhead resistance levels at $18.97 to $19.42 a share post-earnings. Any move above $19.42 will give EXPR a chance to re-fill some of a previous gap down that started at $23 a share.

I would simply avoid EXPR after earnings if it fails to trigger that breakout, and then moves back below some major near-term support at $15.34 a share with heavy volume. If we get that move, then look for EXPR to re-test and possibly take out its next significant support levels at $14 to $13.06 a share post-earnings. Keep in mind that any move below $15.34 will mean EXPR is trading at a new 52-week low, which is bearish technical price action.

To see more potential earnings short squeeze plays, check out the Earnings Short Squeeze Plays portfolio on Stockpickr.


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-- Written by Roberto Pedone in Winderemere, Fla.
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 and maintains the website, 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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