From a technical perspective, EXPR is currently trending above its 50-day moving average and well below its 200-day moving average, which is neutral trendwise. This stock has been trending sideways for the last two months, with shares moving between $10.47 on the downside and $12.79 on the upside. That sideways pattern followed a big gap down in price in October from $15 to $11.50 a share with high volume. Shares of EXPR are now starting to move into that gap and move back above its 50-day moving average of $12.55 a share.

If you're in the bull camp on EXPR, then I would wait until after its report and look for long-biased trades in this stock as long as its trending above its 50-day at $12.55 and above its recent high of $12.79 a share with strong upside volume flows. I would consider any upside volume day that registers near or above its three-month average action of 1,907,710 shares as bullish. If EXPR can maintain that trend, then this stock will set up to re-fill some of that previous gap back towards $15 a share or higher.

I would simply avoid EXPR or look for short-biased trades if after earnings it fails to hold its trend into the gap, and then moves back below some key near-term support levels at $11.50 to $10.47 a share with heavy volume. If we get that action, then EXPR will set up to enter new 52-week low territory, which is bearish technical price action. Some possible downside targets are $9 to $8 a share.

To see more potential earnings short squeeze plays, check out the Earnings Short Squeeze Plays portfolio on Stockpickr.

-- Written by Roberto Pedone in Winderemere, Fla.

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At the time of publication, author had no positions in stocks mentioned.

Roberto Pedone, based out of Windermere, Fla., is an independent trader who focuses on technical analysis for small- and large-cap stocks, options, futures, commodities and currencies. Roberto studied international business at the Milwaukee School of Engineering, and he spent a year overseas studying business in Lubeck, Germany. His work has appeared on financial outlets including CNBC.com and Forbes.com. You can follow Pedone on Twitter at www.twitter.com/zerosum24 or @zerosum24.

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