United Continental

One name that's trending very close to triggering a major breakout trade is United Continental ( UAL), the holding company for United Airlines and Continental Airlines. This stock has been modestly moving higher so far in 2012, with shares up around 12%.

If you take a look at the chart for United Continental, you'll see that this stock has been uptrending fairly strong for the last three months, with shares moving from a low of $17.45 to a recent high of $21.74 a share. During that uptrend, shares of UAL have been mostly making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now pushed UAL within range of triggering a major breakout trade.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in UAL once it manages to break out above some near-term overhead resistance at $21.38 to $21.74 a share with high volume. Look for a sustained move or close above those levels with volume that hits near or above its three-month average action of 4,285,310 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then UAL will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next significant overhead resistance levels at $24.50 to $25 a share. Shares of UAL could even trend a few points north of $25 a share if that breakout triggers soon.

Traders can look to buy UAL off any weakness to anticipate that breakout and simply use a stop that sits right around its 50-day moving average of $19.98 a share. One could also buy UAL off strength once it clears those breakout levels with volume and then use a stop around $21 to $20.50 a share.

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