Trading contests are like mud wrestling. You can't worry about appearances. It gets ugly, and you can't fool around with Wal-Mart (WMT) - Get Report or Microsoft (MSFT) - Get Report. In that vein, now that Beat the Street 2.0 is upon us, here are the stocks to kick off your new portfolio.

For today's start of the contest, I wanted to find stocks that I think could go up today, and over the next few days. The

Super Contest Stocks

portfolio holds the names that I think have all the potential of breaking out in the next few days and why -- even if they might not be great long-term investments.

At the end of this article, I give several research tools that I'll be using to do these "contest articles" on a regular basis. These are the exact tools I used daily for my own trading. These tools include the latest short squeezes, insider buys, snapback plays, breakouts on volume and system trades.

A few months ago,



made millionaires out of contestants. The stock could go up or down 10%-20% in a day, every day for a week. Dendreon also makes it on today's list.

I used to trade a lot more regularly for several hedge funds. The bread-and-butter trade was always finding stocks that had sold off too much the day before for irrational reasons, buying the open the next day and even selling any pop during the day. The longest we held stocks in these situations was two to three days.

For instance,



got slaughtered Wednesday on one of the biggest market days of the year. The managed care provider reduced guidance for the year to $1.20 per share from $1.55, as rising Medicare costs are hurting the bottom line.

That said, this company is dirt cheap. All the hedge funds and mutual funds knew the risks here and still quality operations own it, like value fund

David Dreman

and activist fund


, who owns 9.4% of the company.

Even at $1.20 per share in annual earnings, the company trades at just 16 times forward earnings. Back out its $500 million in cash, with no debt, and the company trades at just 9 times those reduced earnings. Throw in the just-announced $50 million buyback, plus the two quality investors who have room to back up the truck, and we have all the makings of a snapback play here.

Finally, based on its move Wednesday, HealthSpring appeared on

the Hot List

. The daily Hot List shows which stocks are moving a lot up or down, and why. To bookmark this portfolio, or any portfolio in Stockpickr, simply rate it with four stars. Then you will get email notifications whenever the portfolio is updated.

There seems to be a huge misunderstanding of



. Wall Street hates uncertainly and what's uncertain right now is whether it is pulling its flat-panel displays from

Circuit City

(CC) - Get Report


The retailer is supposedly trying to find another flat-panel display maker, according to analysts, but Syntax-Brillian released a note later in the day that said it is fully committed to Circuit City. The stock fell 90 cents, or 16.4%, to $4.56 on these concerns. But demand is so huge for flat-panel displays that regardless of Circuit City, it probably would not affect BRLC's bottom line. This stock could pop right back to $5 on a snapback play.

Syntax-Brillian appeared on Wednesday's

Biggest % Losers

list. Others on that list include

A. Schulman

(SHLM) - Get Report


La Jolla Pharmaceutical

(LJPC) - Get Report


National Semiconductor


also makes the cut. Many prop traders know that the best time to buy a stock is when it's made a huge spike and then pulled back on profit-taking. The idea is that it will hit new highs before long.

National Semiconductor recently announced earnings that crushed expectations and the stock soared. Inevitably, the stock had a 2% pullback Wednesday.

But no matter. The company also announced it was going to do a $2 billion stock buyback on the open market. Management is made up of believers. The stock made our list of

Top Insider Purchases and Buybacks


The company has a pristine balance sheet with slightly more than $800 million in net cash and only trades at 12x EBITDA. Analysts expect earnings to grow to $1.50 from $1.21 this year so there is clearly a disconnect in the market between the growth and the cheapness of the multiple. I think this stock hits $30 fairly quickly.

The full list of 10 stocks (including


(JMBA) - Get Report

, Dendreon and more) that I think are perfect candidates for spikes in the next few days can be found at

The Super Contest Stocks

portfolio. These would be perfect stocks for kick-starting the contest.

Bookmark These Lists

Here are the portfolios that I'll be using as research tools as I update this article. We update these portfolios regularly and I think they will provide good resources going forward for the contest.

The Daily Hot List

is a must-view portfolio midday each day to see what stocks are making the biggest moves and why.

Always check the

Biggest % Losers from the day before

. They can snap back hard. When you check this list on Stockpickr you can see which stocks are owned by the quality hedge funds and mutual funds. Pay attention to those. They likely will be buying at the lower prices, so you should be also.

Players should also watch the

Biotech Short Squeezes


Top Insider Purchases and Buybacks

and the

52-Week Low list

. You must check the above two lists every day if you hope to find volatile stocks.

Stocks Rising on Unusual Volume

represent potential breakouts.

Stockpickr's System Trades of the Day

include trades triggering that day in various back-tested trading systems we've developed.


Stocks With Unusual Options Activity the day before

because perhaps someone knows something?

Latest Activist Situations

features beaten-down stocks where hedge funds are accumulating and demanding change. Believe me, these hedge funds piggyback each other. And once they start rocking the boat, things happen quickly. This must be on the must-view list.

Warren Buffett's portfolio.

It can't be bad to mimic the master. Buy any stocks that have fallen from grace. If he's buying, snapback potential exists.

At the time of publication, Altucher and/or his fund had no positions in stocks mentioned, although positions may change at any time.

James Altucher is president of Stockpickr LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of and part of its network of Web properties, and a managing partner at Formula Capital, an alternative asset management firm that runs several quantitative-based hedge funds as well as a fund of hedge funds. He is also the author of

Trade Like a Hedge Fund


Trade Like Warren Buffett

. Under no circumstances does the information in this column represent a recommendation to buy or sell stocks. Altucher appreciates your feedback;

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