Another earnings short-squeeze prospect is semiconductor player Intel (INTC - Get Report), which is set to release numbers on Thursday after the market close. Wall Street analysts, on average, expect Intel to report revenue of $13.72 billion on earnings of 52 cents per share.
The current short interest as a percentage of the float for Intel stands at 4.3%. That means that out of the 4.96 billion shares in the tradable float, 215.03 million shares are sold short by the bears. This is far from a huge short interest, but it's more than enough to spark a decent short-covering rally if Intel can deliver the earnings news the bulls are looking for.
From a technical perspective, INTC is currently trending above both its 50-day and 200-day moving averages, which is bullish. This stock has been uptrending strong for the last five months, with shares moving higher from its low of $21.68 to its recent high of $26.04 a share. During that uptrend, shares of INTC have been making mostly higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now pushed shares of INTC within range of triggering a big breakout trade post-earnings.
If you're bullish on INTC, then I would wait until after its report and look for long-biased trades if this stock manages to break out above some key overhead resistance levels at its 52-week high of $26.04 to some past overhead resistance at $27.62 a share with high volume. Look for volume on that move that hits near or above its three-month average action of 30.94 million shares. If that breakout hits, then INTC will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $30 to $35 a share.
I would simply avoid INTC or look for short-biased trades if after earnings it fails to trigger that breakout and then drops back below some key near-term support levels at $25.25 a share to its 50-day moving average at $24.70 a share with high volume. If we get that move, then INTC will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major support levels at $24.15 to its 200-day moving average of $23.40 a share. Any high-volume move below those levels will then give INTC a chance to tag $22 to $21.50 a share.