What's Hot, What's Not and SmartStops

This week our list of rapidly rising stocks is concentrated in technology issues and a leveraged ETF that goes short. In the meantime, the rapidly falling stocks seem to be an unfortunate assortment of stocks experiencing bad news in a bad market.

What's Hot!
Aladdin Knowledge Systems ( ALDN)
Sector: Technology
Industry: Software & Programming
Recent Low: On Dec. 31, ALDN closed at $6.16
Recent High: On Jan. 12, ALDN hit a high of $11.10
Price on March 4: $10.27
Current SmartStops exit alert: $9.37

In 2008 these volatile shares traded as high as $26.55 and closed out the year at $6.16. The shares reached their recent high of $11.10 in mid-January after they rallied more than 80% from the low in only eight days of trading. The shares were up on news of a private buyout at $11.50 per share.

Aladdin Knowledge Systems is an information security leader with offices in 15 countries, a worldwide network of channel partners, and numerous awards for innovation. Aladdin eToken is the world's #1 USB-based authentication solution, offering identity and access management tools that protect sensitive data. Aladdin SafeWord two-factor authentication technology protects companies' important information assets and applications.

Aladdin HASP SRM boosts growth for software developers and publishers through strong anti-piracy protection, IP protection, and secure licensing and product activation. Aladdin eSafe delivers real-time intelligent Web gateway security that helps protect data and networks, improves productivity, and enables compliance.

ProShares Ultra Short Financials ( SKF)
Recent Low: On Jan. 6, SKF closed at $101.98
Recent High: On March 4 SKF closed at $208.01
Price on March 4: $208.01
Current SmartStops exit alert: $169.27

In December almost $5 billion worth of these leveraged shares were traded making them the third most popular ETF -- behind only the SPY and QQQQ ETFs. The fund shares, which go short in financial stocks and move inversely with the market, have more than doubled in the last two months.

The ProShares Fund seeks daily investment results, before fees and expenses that correspond to twice (200%) the inverse (opposite) of the daily performance of the Dow Jones U.S. Financials Index. The Fund seeks capital appreciation.

Synnex ( SNX)
Sector: Technology
Industry: Computer Hardware
Recent High: On Feb. 9, SNX hit a high of $17.98
Price on March 4: $14.69
Current SmartStops exit alert: $13.65

Shares of this normally quiet stock -- 3-year Beta of 0.79 -- more than doubled in two months ended Feb. 9. Last month TheStreet.com upgraded the stock from a Hold to a Buy.

Synnex is a business process services company which offers a range of services to original equipment manufacturers, software publishers and reseller customers worldwide.

What's Not So Hot!
Satyam Computer Services ( SAY)
Sector: Services
Industry: Business Services
Recent High: On Jan. 6, SNX hit a high of $9.46
Recent Low: On Jan. 12, SNX had a low of $0.78
Price on March 4: $1.31
Current SmartStops exit alert: $1.15

This outsourcing firm is based in India and has been involved in a billion dollar scandal involving accounting fraud. Company executives have been accused of inflating the number of employees and then stealing the employee payroll.

As might be expected this news resulted in a temporary halt in trading for several days and then there was a huge gap down when trading resumed. It should be noted that SmartStops.net gave a timely warning to unload the shares at $8.77 just two days before the trading halt and the gap down to $1.14.

Satyam Computer Services is a global IT solutions provider, which offers application development and maintenance services, consulting and enterprise business solutions, extended engineering solutions and infrastructure management services.

Arthrocare ( ARTC)
Sector: Health Care
Industry: Health Services
Recent High: On Dec. 18, ARTC hit a high of $16.34
Recent Low: On Jan. 20, ARTC had a low of $3.02
Price on March 4: $3.03
Current SmartStops exit alert: $2.45

A few weeks ago, TheStreet.com reported that Arthrocare has been struggling to secure routine coverage for PDD surgery for years. And in the past, the company could at least count on Medicare to review -- and sometimes approve -- the surgeries on a case-by-case basis. Now that Medicare has issued a formal non-coverage decision, however, the agency can routinely deny payment for the operations -- and it can influence traditional health insurers to do the same.

On Dec. 18, the stock closed at $16.23 and on the 19th, after the bad news was out, ARTC opened at $7.55 and closed at $5.92. However, SmartStops.net protected ARTC investors a few days earlier with a timely sell alert on Dec. 12 at $13.90.

Arthrocare is a multibusiness medical device company that develops, manufactures and markets invasive surgical products.

Century Aluminum ( CENX)
Sector: Basic materials
Industry: Metals and mining
Recent High: On Jan. 6, CENX hit a high of $12.80
Recent Low: On March 3, CENX had a low of $1.31
Price on March 4: $1.50
Current SmartStops exit alert: $1.23

Century seems to be in a tough situation these days. Earnings are dropping and they are closing smelters. The global financial crisis and sharp declines in metals prices have forced several aluminum companies to abandon or put on hold their plans to bring new mines on-stream. Other aluminum producers also have shut down or curtailed output at mines and plants as high costs and low prices create obvious problems.

Century Aluminum had a nice run up from November through January but then prices just fell off a cliff and the stock dropped 88%. SmartStops missed the January high by only a few days and published a timely exit signal at $10.49 on Jan. 12 which would have avoided most of the collapse.

Century Aluminum owns primary aluminum capacity in the United States and Iceland, as well as an ownership interest in alumina and bauxite assets in the United States and Jamaica. Century's corporate offices are located in Monterey, Calif.

Chuck LeBeau is director of analytics at www.SmartStops.net and operates the www.TraderClub.com Web site.

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