Stock Quotes in this Article: ACUR, BKS, SVA, ZNGA, FB

 WINDERMERE, Fla. (Stockpickr) -- Trading stocks that trigger major breakouts can lead to massive profits. Once a stock trends to a new high, or takes out a prior overhead resistance point, then it’s free to find new buyers and momentum players that can ultimately push the stock significantly higher.

One example of a successful breakout trade I recently flagged was Cadence Pharmaceuticals (CADX), which I featured in March 21’s “5 Stocks Under $10 Triggering Breakouts” at around $5.70 a share. I mentioned in that piece that CADX was starting to explode right off its 50-day moving average with strong upside volume. That move was starting to push shares of CADX back above some important near-term overhead resistance levels at $5.46 to $5.66 a share. I highlighted how the breakout for CADX was under way and suggested market players look for long-biased trades as long as the move was sustained.

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Guess what happened? Shares of CADX never looked back from my flag and the stock has now soared to its intraday high of $7.01 a share. The upside volume for CADX was expanding dramatically as the stock broke out and trended above $5.75 a share, which was a bullish technical signal. Shares of CADX are breaking out again today above some near-term overhead resistance at $6.85 despite a weak overall market. This stock continues to look higher, and if it can sustain this move above $6.85, it could be on its way toward $8 a share.

Breakout candidates are something that I tweet about on a daily basis. I frequently tweet out high-probability setups, breakout plays and stocks that are acting technically bullish. These are the stocks that often go on to make monster moves to the upside. What’s great about breakout trading is that you focus on trend, price and volume. You don’t have to concern yourself with anything else. The charts do all the talking.

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Trading breakouts is not a new game on Wall Street. This strategy has been mastered by legendary traders such as William O’Neal, Stan Weinstein and Nicolas Darvas. These pros know that once a stock starts to break out above past resistance levels, and hold above those breakout prices, then it can easily trend significantly higher.

With that in mind, here’s a look at five stocks that are setting up to break out and trade higher from current levels.

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Sinovac Biotech

One stock that’s trending very close to triggering a major breakout trade is Sinovac Biotech (SVA), which is a fully integrated, profitable China-based biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the research, development, manufacturing and commercialization of vaccines that protect against human infectious diseases. This stock is off to a hot start in 2013, with shares up 24%.

If you take a look at the chart for Sinovac Biotech, you’ll notice that this stock has been trending sideways for the last few weeks, with shares moving between $3.56 on the downside and $3.95 on the upside. Shares of SVA have just started to bounce right above the 50-day moving average of $3.43 and are now quickly moving within range of taking out the upper-end of their recent sideways chart pattern.

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Traders should now look for long-biased trades in SVA if it manages to break out above some near-term overhead resistance at $3.95 a share with high volume. Look for a sustained move or close above $3.95 a share with volume that hits near or above its three-month average action of 380,098 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then SVA will set up to re-test or possibly take out its recent super spike high of $5.09 a share.

At last check, SVA has hit an intraday high of $4.12 a share and volume is already tracking in well above its three-month average action with 1.54 million shares traded.

Traders can look to buy SVA off any weakness to anticipate that breakout and simply use a stop that sits just below some key near-term support at $3.56 or below its 50-day moving average of $3.43 a share. One could also buy SVA off strength once it takes out $3.95 a share with volume and then simply use a stop near those same support levels at $3.56 to $3.43 a share.

Facebook

Another stock that’s starting to move within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade is social networking Web site Facebook (FB). This stock hasn’t done much so far in 2013, with shares up just 4.2%.

If you take a look at the chart for Facebook, you’ll notice that this stock has been trending higher after it recently tagged its 200-day moving average of $25.38 a share with expanding upside volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of FB within range of its 50-day moving average and within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade.

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Market players should now look for long-biased trades in FB if it manages to clear its 50-day moving average at $27.80 a share and then once it breaks out above some more overhead resistance levels at $28.67 to $29.08 a share with high volume. Look for a sustained move or close above those levels with volume that hits near or above its three-month average action of 54.79 million shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then FB will set up to re-test or possibly take its next major overhead resistance levels at $32.51 to $33.45 a share.

Traders can look to buy FB off any weakness to anticipate that breakout and simply use a stop that sits right below today’s low of $26.61 a share. One could also buy FB off strength once it takes out those breakout levels with volume and then simply use a stop right below its 50-day at $27.80 a share. I would add to either position once FB clears $28.67 to $29.08 a share with heavy upside volume.

Zynga

Another stock that’s quickly approaching a near-term breakout trade is Zynga (ZNGA), which operates as a social game developer with 232 million average MAUs in 166 countries. This stock has been on fire so far in 2013, with shares up sharply by 49%.

If you look at the chart for Zynga, you’ll notice that this stock is just starting to bounce right off its 50-day moving average of $3.26 a share and right above its 200-day moving average of $3.14 a share. The 50-day has also recently crossed over the 200-day for ZNGA, which is a bullish technical signal. The upside volume for ZNGA recently expanded dramatically as the stock gapped back above its 50-day. That move is quickly pushing shares of ZNGA within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade.

Market players should now look for long-biased trades in ZNGA if it manages to break out above some near-term overhead resistance levels at $3.63 to $4.03 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 36 million shares. If that breakout hits soon, then ZNGA will set up to re-fill some of its previous gap down zone from last July that started around $5.25 a share.

Traders can look to buy ZNGA off any weakness to anticipate that breakout and simply use a stop that sits right below its 50-day at $3.26 or its 200-day at $3.14 a share. One can also buy ZNGA off strength once it clears those breakout levels with volume and then simply use a stop that sits a few percentage points below your entry point, or near the 50-day at $3.26 a share.

Acura Pharmaceuticals

Another stock that’s just starting to trigger a near-term breakout trade is Acura Pharmaceuticals (ACUR), which is engaged in the research, development and manufacture of product candidates providing abuse deterrent features and benefits. This stock has been in play with the bulls over the last six months, with shares up 24%.

If you look at the chart for Acura Pharmaceuticals, you’ll notice that this stock recently formed a double bottom chart pattern at $1.95 to $2 a share. Shares of ACUR have now started to spike back above both its 200-day moving average at $2.08 and its 50-day moving average of $2.17 a share. This stock is also starting to break out above a key downtrend line that has acted as resistance for over the last month.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in ACUR if it manages to break out above some near-term overhead resistance levels at $2.27 to $2.40 a share with high volume. Look for a sustained move or close above those levels with volume that hits near or above its three-month average volume of 348,892 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then ACUR will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $2.79 to $3 a share. Any high-volume move above those levels will then put its recent super spike high of $3.62 into range for shares of ACUR.

This stock is a favorite target of the bears, since the current short interest as a percentage of the float for ACUR is pretty high at 12.5%. If that breakout triggers soon, we could easily get a large short-squeeze, so make sure to put ACUR on your breakout trading radar.

At last check, ACUR has hit an intraday high of $2.34 a share and volume is tracking just a bit below its three-month average action with around 240,000 shares traded.

Traders can look to buy ACUR off any weakness to anticipate that breakout and simply use a stop that sits right below some key near-term support at its 200-day of $2.08 to $2 a share. One could also buy ACUR off strength once it takes out those breakout levels with volume and then simply use a stop just below its 50-day at $2.17 or its 200-day at $2.08 a share.

Barnes & Noble

My final idea today for a breakout trade is bookseller Barnes & Noble (BKS). This stock is off to a decent start in 2013, with shares up over 13%.

If you look at the chart for Barnes & Noble, you’ll notice that this stock has just started to break out above some near-term overhead resistance at $16.90 a share, and it’s quickly moving within range of taking out some more key overhead resistance levels. If that breakout triggers, then it would launch shares of BKS above the upper-end of its recent sideways trading pattern from $15.76 on the downside to $17.50 a share on the upside.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in BKS if it manages to break out above some near-tem overhead resistance levels at $17.24 to $17.50 a share and then once it clears some past resistance at $17.68 a share with high volume. Look for a sustained move or close above those levels with volume that hits near or above its three-month average action of 1.35 million shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then BSX will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major past resistance levels at $19.58 to $21 a share.

Traders can look to buy BKS off any weakness to anticipate that breakout and simply use a stop that sits right below some key near-term support levels at $15.96 to $15.76 a share. One could also buy BKS off strength once it takes out those breakout levels with volume and then simply use a stop that sits right below $16.50 a share.

This is clearly a hated stock on Wall Street, since the current short interest as a percentage of the float for BKS is crazy large at 38.7%. If that breakout triggers soon, then we might get a monster short-squeeze, so make sure to keep an eye on shares of BKS here.

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.