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Lululemon Athletica

Another potential earnings short-squeeze trade is apparel player Lululemon Athletica ( LULU), which is set to release its numbers on Thursday before the market open. This company is a designer and retailer of technical athletic apparel operating primarily in North America and Australia. Wall Street analysts, on average, expect Lululemon Athletica to report revenue of $270.57 million on earnings of 30 cents per share.

UBS is out with a note this morning on shares of Lululemon Athletica. The firm's checks indicate that first-quarter markdowns were controlled and online selling was strong. That analyst expects Q2 sales upside but less than Q1 given softness in Canada and gross margin pressure. UBS has a buy rating on the stock with a $91 price target.

The current short interest as a percentage of the float for Lululemon Athletica is high at 10.8%. That means that out of the 100.87 million shares in the tradable float, 10.93 million shares are sold short by the bears. This is a decent short interest, so look for a big spike post-earnings of this company can deliver what the bulls are looking for.

From a technical perspective, LULU is currently trading below its 50-day moving average and above its 200-day moving average, which is neutral trendwise. This stock recently ran into some selling pressure at around $81.09 a share, and subsequently dropped back below its 50-day to a recent low of $66.01 a share. Since hitting that low, shares of LULU ran back up to its 50-day but was hit with selling pressure again.

If you're bullish on LULU, I would wait until after they report and look for long-biased trades if this stock can manage to trigger a breakout above its 50-day at $73.39, and then above some near-term overhead resistance at $74.63-to-$75.74 a share with high volume. Look for volume on that move that hits near or above its three-month average action of 2,196,410 shares. If we get that move, then look for LULU to re-test its recent high of $81.09 a share and potentially take it out.

I would simply avoid LULU or look for short-biased trades if after earnings this stock fails to trigger that breakout and then drops below some near-term support at $67.84-to-$66.01 a share with heavy volume. If we get that action, then look for LULU to re-test its 200-day moving average at $60.91 a share and possibly take that level out to the downside.

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