Short-sellers hate being caught short a stock that reports a blowout quarter. When this happens, we often see a tradable short squeeze develop as the bears rush to cover their positions. Even the best short-sellers know, it's never a great idea to stay short once a bullish earnings report sparks a big short-covering rally.

This is why I scan the market for heavily shorted stocks that are about to report earnings. You only need to find a few of these stocks every week to help enhance your portfolio returns.

With that in mind, let's take a look at several stocks that could experience big short squeezes when they report earnings this week.

GNC Holdings

My first earnings short-squeeze trade idea is health and wellness products specialty retailer GNC Holdings (GNC - Get Report) , which is set to release numbers on Tuesday before the market open. Wall Street analysts, on average, expect GNC Holdings to report revenue of $627.41 million on earnings of 34 cents per share.

The current short interest as a percentage of the float for GNC Holdings is extremely high at 43.4%. That means that out of the 67.33 million shares in the tradable float, 29.22 million shares are sold short by the bears.

I would wait until after GNC Holdings reports, and then look for long-biased trades if this stock manages to break out above some near-term resistance at $7.51 to its 50-day at $7.64 and then above more resistance at $7.75 with volume that hits near or above 3.98 million shares. If that breakout hits post-earnings, then this stock will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $8.50 to $9, or even $9.23 to $10 a share.

Netflix

Another potential earnings short-squeeze play is Internet television network player Netflix (NFLX - Get Report) , which is set to release numbers on Monday after the market close. Wall Street analysts, on average, expect Netflix to report revenue of $2.64 billion on earnings of 37 cents per share.

The current short interest as a percentage of the float for Netflix sits at 6%. That means that out of the 423.49 million shares in the tradable float, 25.44 million shares are sold short by the bears.

I would wait until after Netflix reports, and then look for long-biased trades if this stock manages to break out above some near-term resistance levels at $148 to its 52-week high of $148.29 with volume that hits near or above 5.65 million shares. If that breakout triggers post-earnings, then this stock will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $155 to $160, or even $165 to $170 a share.

GATX

Another potential earnings short-squeeze candidate is global railcar player GATX (GATX - Get Report) , which is set to release numbers on Thursday before the market open. Wall Street analysts, on average, expect GATX to report revenue of $309.88 million on earnings of $1.12 per share.

The current short interest as a percentage of the float for GATX is extremely high at 31.1%. That means that out of the 38.91 million shares in the tradable float, 12.10 million shares are sold short by the bears.

I would wait until after GATX reports, and then look for long-biased trades if this stock manages to break out above some key resistance levels at $62.81 to $64 and then above its 52-week high of $64.46 with volume that hits near or above 384,919 shares. If that breakout develops post-earnings, then this stock will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $70 to $75, or even $80 a share.

Intuitive Surgical

Another earnings short-squeeze prospect is healthcare player Intuitive Surgical (ISRG - Get Report) , which is set to release numbers on Tuesday after the market close. Wall Street analysts, on average, expect Intuitive Surgical to report revenue of $666.54 million on earnings of $4.95 per share.

The current short interest as a percentage of the float for Intuitive Surgical is notable at 7.5%. That means that out of 38.15 million shares in the tradable float, 2.87 million shares are sold short by the bear.

I would wait until after Intuitive Surgical reports, and then look for long-biased trades if this stock manages to break out above some near-term resistance levels at $771 to its 52-week high of $775.91 with volume that hits near or above 334,891 shares. If that breakout materializes post-earnings, then this stock will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $800 to $810, or even $815 a share.

Syntel

My final earnings short-squeeze play is information technology services player Syntel (SYNT) , which is set to release numbers on Thursday before the market open. Wall Street analysts, on average, expect Syntel to report revenue of $223.34 million on earnings of 44 cents per share.

The current short interest as a percentage of the float for Syntel stands at 7%. That means that out of the 39.47 million shares in the tradable float, 2.77 million shares are sold short by the bears.

I would wait until after Syntel reports, and then look for long-biased trades if this stock manages to break out above some near-term overhead resistance levels at $17.67 to its 50-day at $18.20 with volume that hits near or above 647,509 shares. If that breakout fires off post-earnings, then this stock will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $19 to $20.50, or even $21.50 a share.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.