Stock Quotes in this Article: ASTI, LEI, URZ, IBIO, NCQ

WINDERMERE, Fla. (Stockpickr) -- There isn’t a day that goes by on Wall Street when certain stocks trading for less than $10 a share don’t experience massive spikes higher. Traders savvy enough to follow the low-priced names and trade them with discipline and sound risk management are banking ridiculous coin on a regular basis.

Just take a look at some of the hot movers in the under-$10 complex from Wednesday, including Mindspeed Technologies (MIND), which skyrocketed 28%; Office Depot (ODP), which soared by 21%; GTx (GTXI), which ripped higher by 19%; and Coffee Holding (JVA), which finished up 18.5%. You don’t even have to catch the entire move in lower-priced stocks such as these to make outsized returns when trading.

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One low-priced stock that I recently flagged that went on to skyrocket to the upside was Neuralstem (CUR). On Aug. 31, I highlighted CUR in "5 Stocks Poised for Big Breakouts" at around 60 cents per share. From a technical standpoint, I was bullish on CUR because I liked the bullish upside volume patterns I was seeing, and I liked how the stock was quickly approaching some key breakout levels. I mentioned that CUR was setting up to trigger a major breakout trade over 58 cents per share, and traders should look to buy if off any weakness to anticipate that move.

Guess what happened? Shares of CUR did trigger that breakout over 58 cents with strong volume, and as I write this, the stock is exploding again and hitting $1.08 a share. That’s a massive move the upside in just a few weeks from my call, and the stock never looked back once after it cleared 58 cents per share with high volume. Shares of CUR are now breaking out again above 99 cents to $1 a share, so traders should look for a re-test of its next major past resistance levels at $1.20 to $1.30 a share soon.

Low-priced stocks are something that I tweet about on a regular basis. I frequently flag high-probability setups, breakout candidates and low-priced stocks that are acting technically bullish. I like to hunt for low-priced stocks that are showing bullish price and volume trends, since that increases the probability of those stocks heading higher.

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I’m not as eager to recommend investing long term in stocks that trade less than $10 a share because these names can be very speculative, and the odds for picking the long-term winners aren’t great. But I definitely love to trade stocks that are priced below $10. I like to view them as a trading vehicle with lots of volatility and lots of upside when the trade is timed right.

When I trade under-$10 names, I do it almost entirely based off of the charts and technical analysis. I also like to find under-$10 names with a catalyst, but that’s secondary to the chart and volume patterns.

With that in mind, here’s a look at several under-$10 stocks that look poised to potentially trade higher from current levels.

Ascent Solar Technologies

One under-$10 stock in the semiconductors complex that’s trading very close to triggering a near-term breakout trade is Ascent Solar Technologies (ASTI), a development stage company that focuses on commercializing flexible photovoltaic modules using its proprietary technology. This stock has been on a tear so far in 2012, with shares up an impressive 350%.

This company has generated a lot of excitement of late due to its EnerPlex solar charger iPhone case. The company claims that the EnerPlex will provide up to an additional 170 hours of standby time, 3.5 hours of internet surfing, 5.6 hours of Wi-Fi, 19 hours of audio playback and up to 5.6 hours of video playback on a full charge.

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If you take a look at the chart for Ascent Solar Technologies, you’ll notice that this stock has been uptrending very strong for the past four months, with shares soaring from a low of 53 cents to a recent high of $2.31 a share. During that uptrend, shares of ASTI have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. Over the last month, shares of ASTI have started to trend sideways between $1.91 and $1.60 a share. A move outside of that sideways trading pattern will likely set up the next major trend for ASTI.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in ASTI once it breaks out above some near-term overhead resistance at $1.85 to $1.91 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 781,511 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then ASTI will have an excellent chance of re-testing and possibly taking out its next major overhead resistance levels at $2.20 to $2.31 a share. Any high-volume move above $2.31 will setup ASTI to make a run at $3 to $4 a share.

Traders can now look to buy ASTI off any weakness to anticipate that breakout, and simply use a stop that sits just below some near-term support at $1.60 to $1.38 a share. One could also buy off strength once ASTI takes out $1.85 to $1.91 a share with volume, and then simply use a stop around $1.68 a share. I would add to either position once ASTI clears $2.20 to $2.31 with heavy upside volume.

Uranerz Energy

Another under-$10 stock that looks poised for higher prices is Uranerz energy (URZ), an exploration stage company engaged in the acquisition, exploration and development of properties in the uranium sector. This stock has been under pressure so far in 2012, with shares down over 35% in the last six months.

If you take a look at the chart for Uranerz Energy, you’ll see that this stock has been trading inside of a huge range for the past three months, with shares moving between $1.60 on the upside and around $1.20 on the downside. What’s interesting here is that URZ has been making higher lows for the past two months as it has trended within that range. This price action, along with bullish volume flows, is telling me that the probably if an upside breakout is increasing as URZ nears that $1.60 level.

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Market players should now look for long-biased trades in URZ once it triggers a breakout above some near-term overhead resistance levels at $1.57 to $1.62 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 294,659 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then URZ will have a great chance of re-testing or possibly taking out its 200-day moving average of $1.87 a share, or possibly even tagging more overhead resistance at $2.20 to $2.60 a share.

Traders can look to buy URZ off any weakness and simply use a stop that sits just below $1.40 a share. One could also buy off strength once URZ clears $1.57 to $1.62 a share, with a stop that’s right below its 50-day moving average of $1.46 a share. I would add to either position once URZ takes out its 200-day at $1.87 with heavy upside volume.

Ibio

Another under-$10 stock that’s moving within range of triggering a major breakout trade is Ibio (IBIO), a biotechnology company focused on commercializing its technology, the iBioLaunch platform, for the production of biologics, including vaccines and therapeutic proteins. This stock is off to a hot start so far in 2012, with shares up over 30%.

If you take a look at the chart for Ibio, you’ll notice that this tock spiked up huge back in July from around 70 cents to $1.70 a share with bullish upside volume flows. After hitting $1.70, shares of IBIO went on to pullback to its current price near $1.10 a share. On Wednesday, IBIO started to trend higher and find buying interest right off both its 50-day at $1.06 and its 200-day at $1.07 a share. This move is now quickly pushing IBIO within range of triggering a major breakout trade.

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Traders should now look for long-biased trades in IBIO once it manages to break out above some near-term overhead resistance levels at $1.20 to $1.36 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 254,119 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then IBIO will have a great chance of re-testing or possibly taking out its next major overhead resistance levels at $1.70 to $1.75 a share, or possibly even $1.95 to $2.30 a share.

Traders can look to buy IBIO off weakness with a stop that sits just below some major near-term support levels at $1.03 to 97 cents per share. One could also just buy IBIO off strength once it clears $1.20 to $1.36 a share with high volume, and then simply use a stop somewhere around its 50-day moving average of $1.06 a share.

NovaCopper

Another under-$10 name that’s trading very close to triggering a near-term breakout trade is NovaCopper (NCQ), a base metals exploration company focused on exploring and developing the Ambler mining district. This stock has been hammered by the bears so far in 2012, with shares down by over 35%.

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If you take a look at the chart for NovaCopper, you’ll notice that this stock was stuck in a nasty downtrend from its May high of $4.76 to its recent low in mid-August at $1.65 a share. During that downtrend, shares of NCQ were consistently making lower highs and lower lows, which is bearish technical price action. That said, the stock suddenly perked up in late August and skyrocketed from around $1.75 to a high of $2.92 a share with monster upside volume. Shares of NCQ have now pulled back again and started to bounce off its 50-day moving average of $2.02 a share. That bounce is now pushing NCQ within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade.

Market players should look for long-biased trades in NCQ if it can manage to trigger a break out above some near-term overhead resistance levels at $2.44 to $2.92 a share with high volume. Look for a sustained move or close above those levels with volume that tracks in close to or near its three-month average action of 254,356 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then NCQ will have a great chance of re-testing or possibly taking out its next major overhead resistance level at $3.45 a share.

Traders can look to get long NCQ off weakness, and simply use a stop that sits just below some major near-term support levels at $2.13 to $2.02 a share. One could buy NCQ once it takes out $2.44 with volume, and then simply use a stop just below $2.20 a share. I would add to either position once NCQ clears $2.92 with heavy upside volume.

Lucas Energy

One more under-$10 stock that’s moving within range of a near-term breakout trade is Lucas Energy (LEI), an independent oil and gas company, based in Houston, with approximately 12,500 gross acres of oil and gas leases in South Texas. This stock is off to a slow start so far this year, with shares down by over 15%.

If you take a look at the chart for Lucas Energy, you’ll notice that this stock has been uptrending strong for the last two months, with shares soaring from $1.25 to its recent high of $1.98 a share. During that uptrend, shares of LEI have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now pushed LEI within range of triggering a major near-term breakout trade.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in LEI once it manages to break out above some near-term overhead resistance levels at $1.97 to $1.98 a share, and then its 200-day moving average at $2.04 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 146,533 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then LEI will setup to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $2.40 to $3 a share.

One could look to buy LEI off any weakness and simply anticipate that breakout, with a stop that sits just below its 50-day moving average of $1.70 a share. One could also get long LEI once it takes out $1.97 to $2.04 a share with volume, and then simply use a stop at around $1.80 a share.

To see more hot under-$10 equities, check out the Stocks Under $10 Setting Up to Explode 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 stocks, options, futures, commodities and currencies. He is also an outside contributor to Beconequity.com and maintains the website Maddmoney.net, which he sold to Blue Wave Advisors in 2008. Roberto studied International Business at The Milwaukee School of Engineering, and he spent a year overseas studying business in Lubeck, Germany.