Carmike Cinemas

One stock that's closing in on a big breakout trade is Carmike Cinemas ( CKEC), a digital cinema and 3D motion picture exhibitor in the U.S. serving small to mid-size non-urban markets. This stock is off to a hot start in 2012 with shares up over 115%.

If you take a look at the chart for Carmike Cinemas, you'll notice that this stock has been uptrending strong since early June, with shares making higher lows and higher highs. During that timeframe, this stock has trended up from a low of $12.59 to a recent high of $15.57 a share. That move has quickly pushed CKEC within range of triggering a major near-term breakout trade.

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Market players should now look for long-biased traders in CKEC if it can manage to trigger a breakout above some near-term overhead resistance at $15.57 to $15.80 a share with high volume. Look for a sustained move or close above those levels with volume that registers near or above its three-month average action of 281,233 shares. If we get that move soon, then this stock could quickly head towards $18 to $20 a share.

One could be a buyer of CKEC off weakness and anticipate the breakout with a stop just below its 50-day moving average of $14.27 a share. If you get long off weakness, then I would add to the position once CKEC clears $15.57 to $15.80 with high volume. A better strategy is to just buy off strength once CKEC clears those breakout levels with heavy volume. If you get long off strength, then simply use a stop a few percentage points below $15.57 a share.

It's worth mentioning that CKEC sports a pretty decent short interest and has a small float of just 15.85 million shares. The current short interest as a percentage of the float for CKEC is 7.6%. The bears have also been increasing their bets from the last reporting period by 153.5%, or by about 752,000 shares. If this stock triggers that breakout soon, then we could easily see a sizable short-squeeze develop that spikes the stock big.

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