Apricus Biosciences

My final idea today for a near-term breakout trade is Apricus Biosciences ( APRI), which is a hybrid specialty pharmaceutical company in the areas of oncology, sexual dysfunction, autoimmune and anti-infectives, among others. This stock has been ripping higher so far in 2013, with shares up an impressive 42.7%.

If you look at the chart for Apricus Biosciences, you'll notice that this stock has been uptrending strong for the last month, with shares spiking higher from its low of $1.95 to its recent high of $2.97 a share. During that uptrend, shares of APRI have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has just started to push shares of APRI back above its 200-day moving average of $2.77 and it's quickly pushing the stock within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in APRI once it manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $2.97 to $3.18 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 volume of 144,045 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then APRI will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $3.45 to $3.48 a share and at $3.51 to $3.67 a share. Any high-volume move above $4 a share will then give APRI a chance to re-fill some of its previous gap down zone from last February that started at around $5 a share.

One could look to buy APRI off any weakness to anticipate that breakout and then simply use a stop that sits right around some key near-term support levels at $2.50 to $2.40 a share. Traders can also look to buy APRI off strength once it takes out those breakout levels with volume and then simply use a stop that sits right below its 200-day moving average of $2.19 a share.

This is another stock with short-squeeze potential off that breakout, since the current short interest as a percentage of the float for APRI is pretty high at 10%. Look for a solid short-covering rally to ensue if APRI triggers that breakout soon.

To see more breakout candidates, check out the Breakout Stocks of the Week 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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