Ziopharm Oncology

Another under-$10 name that's trending within range of triggering a major breakout trade is Ziopharm Oncology ( ZIOP), which is engaged in the development and commercialization of small molecule and synthetic biology approaches to new cancer therapies. This stock has been destroyed by the sellers in 2013, with shares off by a whopping 59%.

>>4 Stocks Looking to Break Out

If you take a look at the chart for Ziopharm, you'll notice that this stock gapped down sharply in late March from over $5 a share to $1.66 a share with heavy downside volume. Following that gap down, shares of ZIOP have been trading inside of a consolidation and sideways chart pattern, with shares moving between $1.49 on the downside and $1.89 on the upside. Shares of ZIOP are now starting to move within range of triggering a major breakout trade above the upper-end of its recent sideways chart pattern.

Market players should now look for long-biased trades in ZIOP if it manages to break out above some near-term overhead resistance levels at $1.78 to $1.89 a share and then once it clears its gap down day high of $2.11 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 action of 2.06 million shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then ZIOP will set up to re-fill some of its previous gap down zone that started above $5 a share. Some possible upside targets of ZIOP gets into that gap with volume are its 50-day at $2.68 a share or even north of $3 a share.

Traders can look to buy ZIOP off weakness to anticipate that breakout and simply use a stop that sits right around some key near-term support levels at $1.62 to $1.55 a share, or even $1.49 a share. One can also buy ZIOP off strength once it clears those breakout levels with volume and then simply use a stop just below $1.62 a share. I would add to either position once ZIOP takes out its gap down day high at $2.11 a share with heavy upside volume.

Keep in mind that this stock is a favorite target of the short-sellers, since the current short interest as a percentage of the float for ZIOP is extremely high at 33.4%. If ZIOP triggers that breakout soon, then this stock could explode higher and squeeze the shorts that haven't covered large portions of their positions since the gap down.

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