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TheStreet Open House

4 Big-Volume Stocks Triggering Breakouts

Stocks in this article: CORCIPACDURS

 DELAFIELD, Wis. (Stockpickr) -- Professional traders running mutual funds and hedge funds don't just look at a stock's price moves; they also track big changes in volume activity. Often when above-average volume moves into an equity, it precedes a large spike in volatility.

>>5 Stocks Ready to Break Out

Major moves in volume can signal unusual activity, such as insider buying or selling -- or buying or selling by "superinvestors."

Unusual volume can also be a major signal that hedge funds and momentum traders are piling into a stock ahead of a catalyst. These types of traders like to get in well before a large spike, so it's always a smart move to monitor unusual volume. That said, remember to combine trend and price action with unusual volume. Put them all together to help you decipher the next big trend for any stock.

>>5 Toxic Stocks to Sell in February

With that in mind, let's take a look at several stocks rising on unusual volume recently.

Pacific Drilling

Pacific Drilling (PACD) operates as an offshore drilling contractor. This stock closed up 5.1% at $10.29 in Friday's trading session.

Friday's Volume: 1.32 million
Three-Month Average Volume: 341,348
Volume % Change: 307%

>>5 Stocks With Big Insider Buying

From a technical perspective, PACD ripped sharply higher here right above some near-term support at $9.59 with heavy upside volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of PACD within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if PACD manages to take out both its 200-day moving average of $10.46 and its 50-day moving average of $10.66 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in PACD as long as it's trending above support at $9.59 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that this near or above 341,348 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then PACD will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $11.50 to $11.60 to its all-time high at $12.25.

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