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Earnings Preview: JCPenney and Best Buy Are Survivors

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Today's pre-earnings buy-and-trade profiles include five companies that report after the closing bell today and four that report before the opening bell on Thursday.

A detailed technical analysis chart about these stocks is on page 3 of this article. I also explain my number-crunching terms there.

Mall anchor JCPenney (JCP - Get Report) will be tested after the close today as analysts expect the company to report an earnings-per-share loss of 79 cents. The stock set an all-time low at $4.90 on Feb. 5, so not closing below $5.00 a share is extremely important. That way investors buying the stock on margin will have to pony up a full purchase amount or sell their holdings. (Most brokerages won't allow individual investors to own a stock trading below five bucks a share on margin.)

Another turnaround story is Best Buy (BBY - Get Report), which was a huge winner in 2013. It traded up from a multiyear low at $11.23 on Dec. 28, 2012, to a multiyear high at $44.66 on Nov. 13. Things haven't been so kind to the company in 2014, as the stock plunged below its 200-day simple moving average at $33.71 on Jan. 16 on weak guidance for 2013 holiday sales. The stock traded as low as $22.50 on Feb. 3.

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On to the analysis.

(ADSK) ($54.66, up 8.6% YTD): Analysts expect the software company for architectural design to report earnings of 21 cents a share after the closing bell today. The stock set an all-time intraday high at $55.98 on Monday, Feb. 24, well above its 200-day simple moving average at $41.83. The weekly chart is positive but overbought, with its five-week modified moving average at $52.49.

The stock has a gain of 49.3% over the last 12 months. Quarterly and semiannual value levels are $50.34, $50.24 and $49.35 with a weekly risky level at $55.41.

Best Buy ($25.31, down 36.5% YTD): Analysts expect the retailer of consumer electronic products and appliances to report earnings of $1.01 a share premarket on Thursday, Feb. 27. The stock set a 2014 low at $22.15 on Jan. 31 and is well below its 200-day SMA at $33.71. The weekly chart is negative but oversold, with its five-week MMA at $28.59.

The stock has a gain of 48.9% over the last 12 months. My semiannual value levels are $24.82 and $18.95, with quarterly and monthly risky levels at $30.06 and $39.39.

JCPenney ($5.63, down 38.5% YTD): Analysts expect the mall anchor retailer to report a loss of 79 cents a share after the closing bell today. The stock set a multiyear intraday low at $4.90 on Feb. 4, well below its 200-day SMA at $11.55. The weekly chart is negative but oversold, with the five-week MMA at $6.59.

The stock has a loss of 73.8% over the last 12 months. My annual value level is $5.10 with a semiannual risky level at $18.25.

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