I would avoid SCHN or look for short-biased trades if after earnings it fails to trigger that breakout, and then drops back below some key near-term support levels at $25.83 to $25.10 a share with high volume. If we get that move, then SCHN will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major support level at $22.35 a share.

Greenbrier Companies

My final earnings short-squeeze trade idea today is designer, manufacturer and marketer of railroad freight car equipment Greenbrier Companies ( GBX), which is set to release numbers on Thursday before the market open. Wall Street analysts, on average, expect Greenbrier Companies to report revenue of $442.91 million on earnings of 37 cents per share.

The current short interest as a percentage of the float for Greenbrier Companies is very high at 15.5%. That means that out of the 20.68 million shares in the tradable float, 3.65 million shares are sold short by the bears. This stock sports a relatively low float and a large number of shorts. Any bullish earnings news could easily set off a large short-squeeze for GBX post-earnings.

From a technical perspective, GBX is currently trending above both its 50-day and 200-day moving averages, which is bullish. This stock has been uptrending modestly over the last month, with shares moving higher from its low of $19.39 to its recent high of $22.98 a share. During that uptrend, shares of GBX have been mostly making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now pushed shares of GBX within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade post-earnings.

If you're in the bull camp on GBX, then I would wait until after its report and look for long-biased trades if this stock manages to break out above some near-term overhead resistance at $22.98 a share with high volume. Look for volume on that move that hits near or above its three-month average volume of 561,362 shares. If that breakout triggers, then GBX will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $26.28 to $26.66 a share.

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