The Dow index plunged about 245 points on Monday. Most likely the market will continue to be driven up or down by the events in Europe. If Greece defaults and a major European bank collapses, it could have a contagion effect on the rest of Europe and the world. I don't think it makes sense to take a big new position in any stock unless some meaningful resolution appears for Europe or if the markets decline in total capitulation. However, stocks that are able to decouple from the market madness and go up, might be good for short term trading opportunities. A stock that shows strength in a weak market might just be having a good day, but it can also be a sign that the stock has bottomed out and wants to rise. Some of these stocks have news that caused them to rise but others just rose on speculation in which case it might be a good time to sell. Here are a few stocks worth watching, based on recent strength:
Callon Petroleum (NYSE:CPE) is trading at $4.56. Callon is an oil and gas company with projects in the Gulf of Mexico, Louisiana, and Texas. These shares have traded in a range between $3.02 to $9.36 in the last 52 weeks. The 50-day moving average is $4.94 and the 200-day moving average is $6.56. CPE is estimated to earn 73 cents per share in 2011 and 71 cents in 2012. This stock was trading at about $3 per share just a few days ago and has rebounded sharply. On Monday, this stock managed to go up 38 cents or nearly 10% as the market plunged. While I loved this stock when it was trading closer to $3, now is probably a good time to sell since it appears that much of the gain was based on buyout deals in the energy sector that will probably soon be forgotten.
Magnum Hunter Resources (NYSE:MHR) is trading around $4.41. Magnum is a independent oil and gas company, based in Texas. These shares have traded in a range between $2.33 to $8.66 in the last 52 weeks. The 50-day moving average is $4.15 and the 200-day moving average is $6.38. MHR is estimated to lose about 6 cents per share in 2011 and earn about 16 cents in 2012. Magnum controls about 46,000 acres in the Marcellus Shale region as well as exposure to the Eagle Ford and Bakken. Just like many small oil stocks, MHR shares popped 28 cents or about 6% thanks to a buyout deal. Just a few days ago this stock hit a new 52 week low of $2.33 and has since nearly doubled. Chances are this stock will at least partially retest recent lows, so I would take some profits now.
Delta Petroleum (DPTR) shares are trading at $2.40 and have a 52 week range of $1.71 and $13.30. Delta is an oil and natural gas company. The 50-day moving average is $2.61 and the 200-day moving average is $6.06. These shares are trading below support levels. DPTR is estimated to lose about $1.83 per share in 2011 and lose about $1.46 in 2012. This company has too much debt in my opinion, and I think there are better opportunities. On Monday, this stock surged about 32 cents or around 15%, probably thanks to a couple of buyout deals in the oil sector.
Sequenom, Inc. (NASDAQ:SQNM) is trading around $5.56. Sequenom is a biotechnology company. The 50-day moving average is $5.50 and the 200-day moving average is $6.69. These shares have traded in a range between $4.57 to $8.71 in the last 52 weeks. SQNM announced plans to sell a test for Down Syndrome on Monday, and that helped push the stock higher by 24 cents or about 4.5%. Read more on the new test here.
El Paso Corporation (EP) shares are trading at $24.45. El Paso offers pipeline and storage of natural gas. These shares have traded in a range between $12.51 to $24.61 in the last 52 weeks. The 50-day moving average is $18.52 and the 200-day moving average is $18.26. EP is estimated to earn about $1.11 in 2011, and earn about $1.23 in 2012. Kinder Morgan, Inc. (NYSE:KMI) agreed to buy El Paso and that helped push the stock up by $4.86 or about 25%.
The data is sourced from Yahoo Finance.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.