Let's take a look at five stocks that could experience big short squeezes following any bullish earnings reports they release this week.

Remember, short-sellers hate being caught short a stock that announces a bullish earnings report. When this happens, we often see a tradable short squeeze develop as the bears scramble to cover some of their positions. Even the best short-sellers know, it's never a great idea to get caught short once a bullish earnings report kicks off a short-covering rally.

This is why I scan the market every week for heavily shorted stocks that are about to release earnings. You only need to find a few of these plays every week to help rack up supercharged returns.

With that in mind, here are five:

J.C. Penney

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My first earnings short-squeeze trading opportunity is department stores player J.C. Penney(JCP) - Get Report , which is set to release numbers on Friday before the market open. Wall Street analysts, on average, expect J.C. Penney to report revenue of $2.78 billion on a loss of 21 cents per share.

The current short interest as a percentage of the float for J.C. Penney is extremely high at 37.6%. That means that out of the 292.31 million shares in the tradable float, 110.10 million shares are sold short by the bears.

I would wait until after J.C. Penney reports, and then look for long-biased trades if this stock manages to break out above its 50-day at $5.81 with volume that hits near or above 18.59 million shares. If that breakout triggers post-earnings, then this stock will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $6.50 to $7, or even $7.40 a share.

Whole Foods Market

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Another potential earnings short-squeeze play is natural and organic foods supermarket operator Whole Foods Market (WFM) , which is set to release numbers on Wednesday after the market close. Wall Street analysts, on average, expect Whole Foods Market to report revenue of $3.73 billion on earnings of 37 cents per share.

The current short interest as a percentage of the float for Whole Foods Market is pretty high at 11.3%. That means that out of the 291.15 million shares in the tradable float, 33.17million shares are sold short by the bears.

I would wait until after Whole Foods Market reports, and then look for long-biased trades if this stock manages to break out above resistance levels at $37 to its 52-week high of $37.33 with volume that hits near or above 5.78 million shares. If that breakout hits post-earnings, then this stock will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $40 to $42 a share.

Himax Technologies

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Another potential earnings short-squeeze candidate is fabless semiconductor player Himax Technologies(HIMX) - Get Report , which is set to release numbers on Thursday before the market open. Wall Street analysts, on average, expect Himax Technologies to report revenue of $162.09 million on earnings of 3 cents per share.

The current short interest as a percentage of the float for Himax Technologies stands at 9.6%. That means that out of the 126 million shares in the tradable float, 12.15 million shares are sold short by the bears.

I would wait until after Himax Technologies reports, and then look for long-biased trades if this stock manages to break out above some near-term resistance levels at $7 to $7.18 and then above its 20-day at $7.33 with volume that hits near or above 5.19 million shares. If that breakout develops post-earnings, then this stock will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $7.80 to its 50-day at $8.01, or even $8.50 a share.

Trade Desk

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Another earnings short-squeeze prospect is technology player Trade Desk(TTD) - Get Report , which is set to release numbers on Thursday after the market close. Wall Street analysts, on average, expect Trade Desk to report revenue of $43.42 million on a loss of 3 cents per share.

The current short interest as a percentage of the float for Trade Desk is very high at 16.8%. That means that out of 11.89 million shares in the tradable float, 2 million shares are sold short by the bear.

I would wait until after Trade Desk reports, and then look for long-biased trades if this stock manages to break out above some near-term resistance levels at $41.63 to $42 with volume that hits near or above 605,960 shares. If that breakout materializes post-earnings, then this stock will set up to re-test or possibly take out its 52-week high of $46.21 a share.

Macy's

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My final earnings short-squeeze play is department stores player Macy's(M) - Get Report , which is set to release numbers on Thursday before the market open. Wall Street analysts, on average, expect Macy's to report revenue of $5.47 billion on earnings of 34 cents per share.

The current short interest as a percentage of the float for Macy's sits at 4.8%. That means that out of the 303.59 million shares in the tradable float, 14.78 million shares are sold short by the bears.

I would wait until after Macy's reports, and then look for long-biased trades if this stock manages to break out above some near-term resistance levels at $30.18 to $31.78 with volume that hits near or above 6.43 million shares. If that breakout fires off post-earnings, then this stock will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major resistance levels at $33 to $34, or even $37 a share.

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This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.