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Ticker Tape Digest

Thursday - January 31, 2008

By Leo Fasciocco -- TTD

Ticker Tape Digest presents its daily breakout and Short Selling report. It contains Breakout Stocks and Stocks under Significant Accumulation.

Data is from tape action for the day. These stocks are most suitable for aggressive investors seeking ideal entry points for leading stocks.

These stocks will do very well during bull markets and strong market rallies.

TTD also presents Stocks To Sell or Sell Short. These issues are suitable for aggressive investors willing to take short positions both as trades or for longer-term plays. These stocks

Quote or chart

will do very well during bear markets or market corrections

TTD's multi-media updates include a slide-show that presents charts and analysis at midsession. Some times TTD presents feature analysis on stocks and the market. TTD uses Windows Media Files. (WMV).

TTD also presents a "Breakout Watch List" that is up dated daily. This list consists of key stocks in position to breakout. A close watch of this list can put you in the stock just as it breaks out. TTD often suggests using stop buy orders to enter. It is very important to buy a breakout stock as close as possible to the break point. The idea is to get "elbow room" if the stock should follow through to the upside. This is very important in being successful in making big money with breakout stocks.

TTD also has  special feature sections on  Educational Tips on Investing.

To email Mr. Leo Fasciocco  leo@tickertapedigest.com.For service, email Beverly Owen owen@tickertapedigest.com. TTD’s Tel: 1-480-926-1680.

Breakout Stocks

Total Buy Breakouts so far today - 4

Stocks Screened - 8,200

Bull side -    Small number of breakouts today as stock market rallies strongly. Bulls be very alert now.

Long-Term Environment for bulls:  Neutral

Market Status (Daily) - NYSE Bullish, Nasdaq Bullish

Market Status (Weekly) - NYSE Bullish, Nasdaq Bullish

Today's Featured Stock

Exponent Inc. (EXPO)  30.80,  up 3.13 - Breakpoint 29.40

Posts Strong Earnings, TTD Targets 38

EXPO, based in Menlo Park, Ca., is an independent consulting firm devoted to the investigation, analysis, and prevention of complex problems of an engineering or scientific nature. Annual revenues: $190 million. EXPO breaks out powerfully today from a 12-week flat base. The move was triggered by strong earnings for the fourth quarter. So far today, EXPO is trading 358,000 shares, four times its normal daily volume of 90,000 shares.

TTD highlighted EXPO as a breakout at our midsession show on the Web today.

The stock's big move today carried it to a new all-time high. The tape action was very good. TTD's table shows a big block of 21,100 shares crossing in the morning on a nice up tick to $30.87 from the prior trade at $30.845.

The action showed very good institutional buying off the strong profits. EXPO came in with net for the quarter up 43% to $1.25 a share compared with 83 cents a share a year ago. Revenues for the quarter jumped 37%. EXPO benefited from the delivery of a Rapid Deployment Integrated Spy System to the Army.

Exponent  Clients include transportation, manufacturing, utilities, energy, and insurance companies, as well as government agencies. The company provides

EXPO's net for 2007 soared 53% to $1.36 a share from 89 cents a year ago. The company does work in mechanical, metallurgical, aeronautical, civil, and electrical engineering, and in mathematical and scientific fields such as statistics, health, and computer science.

TTD's daily chart of EXP shows the stock setting up a base afer a run up from 21 to 30. The stock peaked in October. The flat base that developed showed a very good contraction in volume. That indicated that profit taking from the prior advance was being completed.

The stock attempted a breakout six sessions ago. However, it did not work and the stock closed lower and back in the base. Today's breakout is much different.

Notice that volume to do is much greater than the prior breakout. The spread today (range from high to low) is wider. That shows ease of price movement upward.

Finally, the stock appears set to close near its high for the session.

EXPO's technicals look good. The TTD momentum indicator (top of the chart) has turned back up in the bullish zone. The accumulation - distribution line (bottom of chart) is in an overall up trend.

This year, TTD sees profits climbing 20 to 25%. The stock sells with a price-earnings ratio of 22, which is reasonable.

Strategy Opinion: EXPO is the best looking breakout play today. TTD is targeting the stock for a move to 38 within a few months. A protective stop can be placed near 28.50. TTD rates EXPO a good intermediate-term provided earnings growth remains strong.

Sponsorship: Very Good. The top five fund holders all have a rating of 4-star or better. The largest fund buyer lately was UMB Scout Small Cap Fund, 4-star rated, which purchased 280,000 shares. A key big holder is 5-star rated Royce Micro-Cap Fund with a big 3.6% stake. It was a recent seller of 32,000 shares.

Insider Activity: Neutral. Light insider buying using stock options. Then, insiders turned around and sold. Just 2 analysts follow the stock and both have a neutral rating. That is the same sentiment as three months ago. TTD sees chances for a buy recommendation.

TTD's Breakout Profile Rating
Exponent Inc. (EXPO)
TTD Check List Bullish Bearish Neutral
Near 52-week High YES  
Volume YES  
Tick Volume YES  
Price Trend - Daily YES  
Price Trend - Long Term YES    
Price Daily Spread YES  
Base Structure YES  
Base - A-D YES  
Earnings-Quarterly YES    
Earnings-Long Term YES    
Earnings Outlook YES    
Industry Group YES  
Prior Breakout Success YES  
Fund Sponsorship YES  
Total Score 14 0 0

All Timely Breakout Stocks From Tape Action Today

(The “breakout List” gives all stocks breaking out of a base of five weeks or more. These stocks have a good chance to trend higher. However, a stop should be used to avoid those that do not work.

(Trading strategy: One should buy breakout stocks at breakpoint by using market order or stop buy)

Charts of Breakout Stocks

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Ticker Tape Digest’s

Stocks To “Sell or Short”

Ticker Tape Digest’s Daily List of “Stocks To Sell or Sell Short” ranks stocks well timed to be sold immediately based on daily trading. The list can be used as an alert to reduce current long-term positions.

Shorts from tape action so far today - 12

Stocks Screened - 8,200

Long-Term Environment for bears: Neutral

Bear Side -  Good number of shorts today as some show fundamental damage. Bears be venturesome.

List of Stocks To Sell or Short

(Trading strategy: These stocks can be sold short, or if held should be sold. If a stock is sold short, a protective stop buy should be placed. Short plays work best when the stock market is in a down trend.)

Commentary on TTD’s Feature Bear Play

Covance Inc. (CVD) - 82.53, down 5.57

Falls on Massive Volume,  TTD Sees Slide to 70

CVD, based in Princeton, N.J., is a provider of drug-development services to the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. Annual revenues: $1.6 billion. CVD surprises by falling sharply today after coming in with earnings for the fourth quarter that were in line with Street estimates. Technically, the breakdown comes from a bearish head-and-shoulder topping pattern (see chart). TTD sees the stock as a good short because its fall comes as a surprise.

So far today, CVD is trading 2.3 million shares so far today, triple its normal daily volume of 717,000 shares.

TTD's clip of the tape shows heavy institutional selling pressure. A big block of 32,000 shares crossed the tape at $80.35. That came within a sequences started by a down tick from $89.36

CVD's business is split between the early-stage segment, which includes toxicology, pharmaceutical chemistry, and pharmacology services, and late-stage development services, which include Covance's central lab operations and late-phase clinical studies.

The company gets 33% of its revenues from overseas.

Today, the company reported that fourth quarter net of 72 cents a share, up from 59 cents a share a year ago. The weakness in the stock's price today was traced to weakness in profit margins and concern of a "softness" in CVD's business in the first half of this year.

This year, analysts are forecasting a 21% increase in net to $3.20 a share from $2.65 a share in 2007. The stock sells with a 26 price-earnings ratio.

TTD's daily chart shows a classic breakdown from a well-known technical topping pattern. The big volume today is very bearish. TTD is calling for CVD to fall to 70 within the next few months. We see the stock as a good trading short.

TTD columnist Leo Fasciocco has covered the stock market for over 20 years. His articles appear in many publications. He is also a speaker at the Intershow conferences. He has been on television and radio. He is author of many educational articles about stock investing and the book “Guide To High-Performance Investing.”

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For information to subscribe to the Ticker Tape Digest Services call: B. J. Owen at 1-480-926-1680. Distributed by Corona Publishing Enterprises. Ticker Tape Digest Inc. P.O. Box 2044 Chandler, Az. 85244-2044. TTD “Professional Report” is available on the World Wide Web: $100 per month. Password needed. “TTD Professional“ Faxed is $200 per month. The TTD Daily Report is $39.95. Credit cards accepted.

(The information contained has been prepared from data deemed reliable but there is no guarantee of complete accuracy. Ticker Tape Digest Inc. is not affiliated with any broker, dealer or investment advisor. Nothing in this publication constitutes an offer, recommendation or solicitation to buy or sell any securities. Further research is advised. This report is copyrighted and no redistribution is permitted with out permission. Some of the charts are from Telescan, Insight Trading, First Alert and other sources.)