I like the discipline that a stockpicking contest like TheStreet.com'sBeat the Street 2.0 forces me to use when I think about stocks. To choose stocks for such a game I have to ask two questions:
What stocks are good for the long term?
What stocks are going up this week?
The answer to the second question is usually impossible to determine, particularly in conjunction with the first. But statistically, two types of stocks go up in the short term: snapbacks and breakouts. You can check out the
section of Stockpickr to see various systems we've built for this.
Each week, I compile a new list of
featuring the 10 stocks I believe are most likely to succeed in coming days. Here's a sampling from this week's list as well as a some of the Stockpickr portfolios I use in my research of these ideas.
First up is armored-vehicle maker
, which just won a $221.7 million contract to provide mine-resistant vehicles to the U.S. Marine Corps. The deal, however,
fell short of investors' expectations
, throwing the stock down nearly 10% for the week.
Many analysts feel Force Protection will see tougher competition for future contracts in the mine-resistant vehicle space. But as the war in Iraq lingers and as insurgents grow more desperate in their attacks, investors will return to Force Protection.
Force Protection has a short position of more than 13%, which fueled the fire the after government contract "miss," if you want to call it that.
It's an oversold stock vs. its sector. Increased fighting in Iraq will underscore the importance of Force Protection.
One $221 million order represents almost two-thirds of Force Protection's entire revenue from the prior year. I haven't always been a huge fan of Force Protection, but I believe this one could see a 10% snapback this week.
Next up is
, by far the most talked-about stock on the Stockpickr message boards.
The stock has acted like a total dog, leaving investors dazed and confused about its next move. In fact, shares of the exchange this week broke through the average price at which major shareholder
has bought up its shares of NYSE, somewhere between $82 and $79.
NYX is clearly an oversold stock. Recent buyout talks with the
New York Mercantile Exchange
( NMX) could help NYX in its pricing power.
Oversold stock. You may see large hedge funds, such as Atticus Capital, start to average down in their holdings, and recent buyout talks with the New York Mercantile Exchange could give NYSE shares the lift they need.
Jim Cramer on his "Mad Money" TV show has been saying he hopes NYSE shares go lower -- say, around $70 -- so he can pick up more for his
Action Alerts PLUS charitable trust, but I doubt the stock will go that low.
I believe the snapback will begin this week. I've been wrong before on this stock, but long-term value is there, and when it snaps back it will be ferocious.
is on a tear right now because of the highly anticipated spinoff of its VMware, a bundle of products that companies apparently live by.
Analysts and the market in general are going to be forced to value VMware once it comes public in late July. Most analyses shows that VMware is worth roughly $10 billion, which goes directly to EMC's market cap, since it will still own 90% of the company.
EMC has acted very strong the past few days in a rocky tape, with signs of heavy buying. The growth figures on VMware are outstanding. Also, VMware cuts companies' technology-related energy bills by 40%, and with the Senate's recent passing of a pro-renewable energy bill, VMware's likely to benefit.
started the "road trip" of VMware to the major investment banks, which will certainly want in on the offering.
For the rest of this week's Rocket Stock picks plus the analyses and catalysts for each, including
Level 3 Communications
, check out the
And to find the snapbacks and potential breakouts on a regular basis, be sure to check out these Stockpickr portfolios:
- Today's Hot List: This daily list is a must-view at midday each day to see what stocks are making the biggest moves and why.
- Always check the Biggest % Losers, a list of stocks that lost big the day before, because 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 will be buying at the lower prices, so you should be also.
- Biotech Short Squeezes.
- Top Insider Purchases and Buybacks.
- 52-Week Lows List: As with the above two lists, you must check this portfolio every day if you hope to find volatile stocks.
- Stocks Rising on Unusual Volume: These are stocks with the potential to break out.
- System Trades of the Day: These are trades triggering that day in various backtested trading systems we've developed at Stockpickr.
- Stocks With Unusual Options Activity: Unusual activity in these stocks the day before suggests that someone perhaps knows something.
- Latest Activist Situations: These are beaten-down stocks that hedge funds are accumulating shares of and demanding change for. Believe me, these hedge funds piggyback each other. And once they start rocking the boat, things happen quickly. This should be on the must-view list.
Finally, be sure to check out this fantastic forum,
For a video version of this story, please click here.
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 TheStreet.com 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;
to send him an email.
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