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.
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.
With that in mind, let's take a look at several stocks rising on unusual volume recently.
Flamel Technologies (FLML - Get Report), a specialty pharmaceutical company, develops and commercializes pharmaceutical products based on its proprietary polymer based technology. This stock closed up 6.6% at $15 in Monday's trading session.
Monday's Volume: 616,000
Three-Month Average Volume: 222,855
Volume % Change: 221%
From a technical perspective, FLML ripped sharply higher here right above some near-term support at $14 with above-average volume. This spike higher on Monday is starting to push shares of FLML within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if FLML manages to take out Monday's intraday high of $15.36 to its 52-week high at $15.75 with high volume.
Traders should now look for long-biased trades in FLML as long as it's trending above some near-term support at $14 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 222,855 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then FLML will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $18 to $20.