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Guest Blogger Mishlove: My Friday Contest Picks

Hey folks. Jeff Mishlove is here after a few days off--with his contest picks for today. It's a good read and we're happy to have him back. Here's Jeff: Last week was amazing. As I reported one week ago, one of my contest portfolios was up over 100% for the week. Actually, by the end of the day on Friday, it was up by over 112% -- far and away more than any other previous weekly winner. But, ironically, it still was not enough to win the weekly prize. As we all now know, Greyson Masters beat me with a portfolio that grew over 121% for the week.

Still, with over 1.2 million portfolios entered into the contest, my second-place, weekly finish is a clear confirmation of the methods I have been employing and reporting on in my guest blogs. For those of you who are interested in more details of the short squeeze strategy I use, see my previous blogs – and also the Handbook I have written for contestantsin the Million Dollar Portfolio Challenge. (If you look to the lower right of your screen, you should see the link in the “Million Dollar Links” window, or click on the text above.)

The stocks I am recommending for purchase on Friday are crucial to the contest. They represent the first selections that will count toward the final, regular week of the contest. Here they are, in no particular order of preference:

Agilsys , an electronics wholesaler, has already risen in price 48% during the past 52 weeks. Naturally, this steep incline has attracted short sellers who control over 5% of the stock float. Earnings are coming out, and a strong report will create extra buying from these short sellers who will need to buy back the stock they borrowed when they sold short.

Quintana Maritime , a shipping company, has seen more than a 90% price during the past 12 months. Short sellers control almost 7% of the stock float. A positive earnings report will have them jumping into the lifeboats.

Brookfield Homes , a homebuilder, has not had such a good year. The stock is down considerably – and short sellers have piled on positions so that they now control over 24% of the stock float. A positive earnings report would be a real surprise. But, if it does happen, it will feel like a hammer on the thumb to them. They’ll be screaming to buy.

ITC Holdings , an electric utility, has had a great run, rising over 67% in price during the past 52 weeks. Short sellers control over 13% of the stock float. Watch their hair fly out if the earnings report is positive.

Cogent Communications Group , an internet service provider, would have been a sweet buy a year ago. It has grown over 116% since then. Disbelieving short sellers now control almost 10% of the stock float. And, a positive earnings report will make them wish they could hide in cyberspace.

Those are my best picks. Given that earnings season is winding down, there were fewer stocks to choose from – and, consequently, not as good a selection as a week ago. Now, we’ll have to wait and see what the market has to say.

Jeff Mishlove is author of Jeffrey Mishlove’s Handbook for Contestants in CNBC’s Million Dollar Portfolio Challenge. He is a commodity trading advisor and creator of www.forecastingsystems.com.

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