These four stocks are at critical junctures, a breakout higher could set a bullish tone for weeks to come, while a failure to launch will attract  sellers and short-selling. Completely different price action heading into these important resistance levels will likely result in failed breakouts in some stocks, and successful upside breakout in others. Therefore, bullish and bearish, short-term and longer-term traders should all pay attention.

Pandora Media (NYSE:P) is consolidating in a range between $28.26 and $23.03 since mid-September. The November 5 close at $27.88, up 8.61% on the day, brings the broadcasting company very close to that high. A daily close above that high sets the stage for the uptrend to continue, with the current range simply a consolidation on the way to a target of $33. A failed upside breakout, or failure to reach the high (unlikely) will attract selling though, pushing the stock toward support at $25 to $23. A drop below $23 ends the uptrend, likely sending it to $19 to $18.

After a strong pullback from the August high at $13.51, Marvell Technologies (Nasdaq:MRVL) is once again approaching this level after an 8.53% jump on November 5. While a rise above $13.51 is likely to attract additional interest to the stock, and is a strong resistance area, the price has already shown signs of starting a new uptrend. Pullbacks, that stay above $12, present buying opportunities, with the targets at $13.90, $14.90 and $15.75. The multiple targets are provided based on how aggressively the stock moves through the $13.50 region. Failure to break through the $13.50 region sends the stock lower to probe to support at $12 and $11.

AOL (NYSE:AOL) is prone to choppy range-like trading, therefore if historical precedent continues, the strong rally from $37 to $42 on November 4 and 5 is likely to be stifled between $42 and $44. $42.12 was the high set earlier this year, eclipsed by the intraday high at $42.42 on November 5. The 2012 high at $43.93 serves as additional resistance, creating a region of resistance likely to hold off this rapid advance, and sending the stock back below $40. Since mid-October the price has been making higher highs and higher lows--a short-term uptrend--but this price structure will need to continue in order for the stock to stand a chance of staying above $42.

Michael Kors (NYSE:KORS) on the other hand has been in a strong uptrend, but stalled--with a slight upward bias--since early September. The price was consolidating between $78.83 and $70.59, but appears to have broken out on November 5, hitting a high of $80 and closing at $79.13. If the price can hold above the $78.50 region for several days it will help confirm the breakout. If the breakout continues, the next target is $84. An inability to hold above $78 means the consolidation is likely to continue, with the price re-testing the $73 region. A drop below $70 signals the uptrend is likely over and a move toward $63 is probable.

The Bottom Line

The likelihood of a stock breaking through a support level often depends on the price structure as it approaches the level in question. Pandora and Michael Kors are both in uptrends which makes the break higher more likely, since current resistance is likely part of a consolidation. AOL and Marvell on the other hand have shown short-term strength, but that could fade by the time resistance is reached. These stocks lack the overall momentum higher which make them a high probability breakout stock. Regardless of the price structure heading into these important resistance areas, expect a pop higher or lower depending on whether the breakout succeeds or fails.

Disclosure - At the time of writing, the author did not own shares of any company mentioned in this article.

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