WINDERMERE, Fla. (Stockpickr) -- U.S. stocks are off to a weak Friday, with all major averages trending lower despite better-than-expected readings on U.S. consumer sentiment and eurozone economic growth.
Traders are choosing to ignore those bullish readings and focus more on concerns over Greece's financial situation and the strength in the U.S. dollar. Greece's continuing debt problems are going to be the center of attention next week as the head of the International Euro Group meets.
The markets are worried that Greece might need to do a major debt restructuring and soon. Some even think that Greece is going to default. There's no way to spin a default as good news for equities, but it is good news for the U.S. dollar. The dollar is the world's safe haven so traders will flock the greenback of Greece defaults. This will put more pressure on U.S. equities.
Dow Jones Industrial Average
is down by 117 points at 12,579, and the
has lost 12 points to 1337. The tech-heavy
has given up over 32 points to 2830. The dollar is up by around 54 cents to $75.77.
It's imperative that market players watch how the dollar trades even if you aren't a currency trader. When the dollar moves up, it often causes commodities and equities to fall. If the dollar were to have a major rally, it could change the overall trend for U.S. equities, which is up.
We even now have rumors that the market is selling down because the CIA has discovered that Osama Bin Laden was working on plans to kill President Obama around 2012 election time.
Despite the weakness today in the overall market, there are still plenty of stocks trending higher and setting up to break out.
is not a new game on Wall Street. This strategy has been by legendary traders such as William O'Neal, Stan Weinstein and Nicolas Darvas.
Here's a look at a number of
and trade higher from current levels.
One stock that looks ready to break out and trend higher is
, which develops high-precision, analog and mixed-signal integrated circuits for a range of audio and energy markets. This stock hasn't done much this year, with shares only up around 7%, but that could be about to change in a big way.
If you take a look at the chart for Cirrus Logic, you'll see that the stock is approaching a breakout if it can manage to move above some near-term overhead
at around $16.79 to $17.15 a share. The stock has also found some solid support at around $14.65 to $15 a share. I like the fact that volume is tracking in strong today as the stock moves higher. Volume so far has registered above 4.7 million shares, which is exceeding the three-month average volume of 3.5 million shares.
Market players should now watch for a move above $17.15 on
for confirmation of a breakout. If Cirrus can manage to get above that level, then we could potentially see a run back towards $19 to $22 a share. One could be a buyer of Cirrus on any weakness and use a stop around $15.72 a share. I would add to the position if you see Cirrus take out its 200-day and 50-day
of $17.82 and $18.85, respectively.
It's worth noting that this stock has a decent short interest as a percentage of the float, at around 7.3%. That short interest is current as of April 29. I would also like to point out that the bears have been adding big to their positions for the last reporting period by around 21.4%, or by about 401,000 shares. If this stock does breakout soon, then we could see a sizable short-squeeze develop that takes the stock much higher.
Another tech player that looks poised to break out is
, a provider of communications test and measurement solutions and optical products for telecommunications service providers, wireless operators, cable operators and network equipment manufacturers. This stock is off to a hot start in 2011, with shares up over 49%.
If you take a look at the chart for JDS, you'll see that the stock has been making higher lows since mid-April. This is a technically bullish sign because it means that large traders are paying up for the stock each time it pulls back. This demonstrates that demand for JDS shares is high and that traders are willing to pay up for a position in the stock.
Market players should now watch for JDS to break out above some near-term overhead resistance at around $22.40 to $22.65 a share. A move above those levels would be extremely bullish because the stock has failed to trade above that resistance zone since early March. Any move above those prices on volume that clocks in over 17 million shares (three-month daily average) should confirm that JDS wants to go higher.
This is one stock that I would jump in big if we do get the breakout. The reason I would want to be in this play aggressively is that there's a huge gap down price that could be filled if the stock starts to trend higher. That gap started at around $26 a share, so the upside is big if JDS wants to fill the gap. One could be a buyer of this stock on any weakness as long as it doesn't trade below the 50-day moving average of $20.39. I would stop out of the trade if it moves below that level. Add the position once you see the breakout above $22.65 with volume.
JDS shows up on a recent list of
Take-Two Interactive Software
If you're looking for a breakout play in the video game complex, then make sure to check out
Take-Two Interactive Software
, a global publisher, developer and distributor of interactive entertainment software, hardware and accessories. This is another stock that's off to a solid start in 2011, with shares up over 30%.
If you take a look at the chart for Take-Two, you'll see that this stock has been making higher lows since last December and more recently since mid-April. This is bullish price action and demonstrates that the trend in Take-Two is up. For the last couple of months, Take-Two has formed a consolidation chart pattern where the stock has traded back and forth between $14.70 and around $16 a share. Traders should now watch for Take-Two to breakout to the upside out of this consolidation pattern.
I would view a move above $16.59 to $16.75 on
as very bullish for Take-Two. Look for a breakout with volume that's well above the three-month average activity of 1.4 million shares. One could be a buyer of the stock once it breaks out with a protective stop just below the 50-day
of $15.56 a share.
It's worth pointing out that this stock is heavily shorted. As of April 29, the current short interest as a percentage of the float for Take-Two stands at 12.1%. If this stock breaks out, we could easily see the shorts get squeezed big and forced to cover their positions at much higher prices.
If you're looking for a breakout play in the alternative energy space, then check out the action in
, a designer and manufacturer of energy-efficient power conversion and power management solutions for renewable/alternative energy, routers, data storage, servers and data centers, wireless communications, optical networking, semiconductor test equipment, industrial markets and custom applications. This stock is actually down year-to-date by around 13%, but I don't think that weakness is going to last for much longer.
If you take a look at the chart for Power-One, you'll see that the stock has been making higher lows since it double-bottomed at around $7.18 a share just a few weeks ago. This stock is now in a strong uptrend and is very close to a major breakout.
Market players should watch for a move above $9 a share on heavy volume for confirmation that the stock wants to trend higher. Look for volume that's well above the three-month average action of 4.7 million shares. If we get the breakout, I would add to the position once this stock takes out $9.30 and then $9.68 which is the 200-day moving average. One could be a buyer of this stock on any weakness and use either the 50-day moving average of $8.19 or the trend line you see on the chart as your protective stop. Keep in mind that Power-One has a huge gap that could get filled that I circled on the chart if this stock breaks out. Shares could easily run all the way back up to $12 a share, so the upside here on a breakout is huge.
It's worth noting that this stock is heavily shorted by the bears. The current short interest as a percentage of the float for Power-One stands at a whopping 32.9%. This stock could really skyrocket if we do get a breakout soon.
I recently highlighted Power-One in "
One more breakout candidate that operates in the financial sector is
, an investment bank providing advice and services to the companies and institutional investors. It includes advisory services, capital raising and sales and trading. This stock is down big in 2011 by around 20%, but that could be setting up to change quickly.
If you take a look at the chart for Gleacher, you'll see that the stock has been making higher lows since early March. This is very bullish for Gleacher because coming into that chart pattern the stock had been stuck in a nasty downtrend. In fact, this stock fell from $9.16 a share in late 2009 to its recent low of $1.50 a share. The trend here could be setting up to change big time now that we're seeing the higher lows chart pattern show up.
Traders should watch for a breakout in Gleacher if it can manage to get above $2 a share, and then above the 200-day moving average of $2.07 a share. A move above those levels could send this stock off to the races. In fact, this stock could easily double from current levels. I say that because I am seeing what could be a major trend change developing for Gleacher.
Look for volume on any breakout that clocks in well above the three-month average action of 433,870 shares. Once could be a buyer on any weakness with a protective stop just below the 50-day moving average of $1.86.
Gleacher shows up on a recent list of
To see more breakout candidates, including
Chipotle Mexican Grill
(GME), check out the
portfolio on Stockpickr.
-- Written by Roberto Pedone in Winderemere, Fla.
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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 Beconequity.com and maintains the website Maddmoney.net, 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.