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1. Ashland Ramps on JPMorgan Upgrade

By Gary Morrow
4/1/2009 12:49 PM EDT

Ashland ( ASH) is up over 13% today on heavy trade. The stock began the day with a power gap higher that pushed the stock to its best level in 10 weeks. Ashland is now trading just shy of its 2009 highs of $12.25 and looks poised for more upside.

Today's upgrade-inspired breakout continues a strong upside move over the past week. Ashland has been tracing out a basing pattern since late November after dropping 80% from its 2008 highs. The stock drifted lower through January and February on light trade. Early last month, Ashland had finally become sold out and began to turn the corner. Three weeks later, the stock closed back above its 50-day moving average for the first time since last June. Ashland built on that strength the next day with a 6% gain on a big surge in trade. Upside volume improved to its best levels of the year as last week ended, giving the breakout today solid footing.

Strong support is now in place from $10.50 to $10.70. A low-volume pullback to this area would be a low-risk buying opportunity. On the upside, $14.00 is a logical short-term target.

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