featured expert Kevin Matras highlights: Cathay featured expert Kevin Matras highlights: Cathay General Bancorp,
  Carbo Ceramics, Fred's, Inc., Spartan Stores and Texas Industries

Business Wire

CHICAGO -- December 15, 2010

Stocks in this week’s article include: Cathay General Bancorp (NASDAQ: CATY),
Carbo Ceramics Inc. (NYSE: CRR), Fred's, Inc. (NASDAQ: FRED), Spartan Stores,
Inc. (NASDAQ: SPTN) and Texas Industries, Inc. (NYSE: TXI). Kevin Matras looks
at the 'short ratio' as a market sentiment indicator and shows how to use it
for finding winning stocks.

Screen of the Week written by Kevin Matras of Zacks Investment Research:

This week's Screen looks at a market sentiment indicator called the 'short
ratio' to find new stock picks.

The short ratio is the number of shares sold short (short interest or bets
that the stock will go lower in price) divided by the average daily volume.
This is sometimes referred to as the "days to cover" ratio because it tells
approximately how many days it will take short-sellers to cover their
positions if good news sends the price higher.

The higher the ratio, the longer it would take to buy back the 'sold'
(borrowed) shares. And in theory, the more short positions there are to cover,
the stronger the short covering rally would be.

Many people who use this indicator like for the number of "days to cover" to
be higher than 8-10 days. It's generally believed that a short ratio of that
size could prove difficult to cover and therefore trigger a strong rally on
any hint of an upswing. (My personal preference is to take that into
consideration, but also compare it to the industry's average ratio and the
stock's own historical ratio.)

And while I wouldn't recommend using just the short ratio as the 'be all and
end all' of screening items, I do think it can be a great tool for helping
define great opportunities.

The parameters to this week's screen are:

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Disclosure: Officers, directors and/or employees of Zacks Investment Research
may own or have sold short securities and/or hold long and/or short positions
in options that are mentioned in this material. An affiliated investment
advisory firm may own or have sold short securities and/or hold long and/or
short positions in options that are mentioned in this material.

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Jim Giaquinto
Phone: 312-265-9268
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