Apple

One stock that's trading within range of triggering a major breakout trade is Apple ( AAPL), which is off to a hot start in 2012, with shares up over 50% so far.

If you take a look at the chart for Apple, you'll notice that this stock recently gapped down big off its earnings report with heavy volume. That move pushed Apple right under its 50-day moving average to around $570 a share. At that level, shares of Apple found buying interest as the stock tested $570 a number of times and held that level. Shares of Apple then busted back above its 50-day moving average, and now the stock is trending within range of triggering a breakout trade.

Traders should now look for long-biased traders in AAPL once it manages to trigger a breakout trade above some near-term overhead resistance levels at $616.40 to $619.87 a share, and then above $620.25 a share with high volume. Look for a sustained move or close above those levels with volume that's near or above its three-month average action of 15.4 million shares. If we get that action soon, then AAPL will setup to re-test and possibly take out its next major overhead resistance level at $644 a share. That $644 level also happens to be the all-time high for Apple.

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One could look to buy AAPL off any weakness to anticipate the breakout, and simply use a stop that sits around some near-term support at $600 a share. One could also just buy off strength once AAPL clears those breakout levels with volume. If you buy off strength, then use a stop that sits just below $610 a share.

Apple, which shows up on a list of 3 Stocks to Sell if They Crash on Earnings, was also featured recently in " 5 Huge Stocks Ready to Slingshot Higher."

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