Zacks.com featured expert Kevin Matras highlights: Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Astoria Financial Corp., International Bancshares Corp., United Stationers Inc. and CVB Financial Corp.

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Chicago, IL – June 13, 2012 - Stocks in this week's article include Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ALNY), Astoria Financial Corp. (NYSE: AF), International Bancshares Corp. (NASDAQ: IBOC), United Stationers Inc. (NASDAQ: USTR) and CVB Financial Corp. (NASDAQ: CVBF). Kevin Matras examines 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:

For the rest of this Screen of the Week article, please visit Zacks.com at: http://www.zacks.com/commentary/21790/

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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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Read the analyst report on ALNY

Read the analyst report on AF

Read the analyst report on IBOC

Read the analyst report on USTR

Read the analyst report on CVBF

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