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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.

Criteo

Criteo (CRTO) - Get Criteo SA Report, a technology company, engages in the digital performance marketing in France and internationally. This stock is trading up 2.7% to $42.73 in Monday's trading session.

Monday's Volume: 532,000
Three-Month Average Volume: 517,315
Volume % Change: 107%

From a technical perspective, CRTO is spiking higher here back above its 50-day moving average of $41.99 with decent upside volume flows. This trend to the upside on Monday is starting to push shares of CRTO within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade above some key overhead resistance levels. That trade will hit if CRTO manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance at $43.74 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in CRTO as long as it's trending above Monday's intraday low of $41.32 or above more near-term support at $40 and then once it sustains a move or close above $43.74 with volume that hits near or above 517,315 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then CRTO will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $46.25 to its 52-week high of $46.50. Any high-volume move above those levels will then give CRTO a chance to tag $50 a share.

SurModics

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SurModics (SRDX) - Get Surmodics Inc Report provides surface modification and in vitro diagnostic technologies to the health care industry. This stock is trading up 2.4% to $26.58 in Monday's trading session.

Monday's Volume: 62,000
Three-Month Average Volume: 58,131
Volume % Change: 125%

From a technical perspective, SRDX is spiking to the upside here right above some near-term support at $25.50 with above-average volume. This stock has been uptrending strong for the last five months, with shares moving higher from its low of $20 to its recent high of $26.99. During that uptrend, shares of SRDX have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. This move to the upside on Monday is now quickly pushing shares of SRDX within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if SRDX manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $26.93 to its 52-week high of $26.99 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in SRDX as long as it's trending above Monday's low of $26 or above more near-term support at $25.50 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 58,131 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then SRDX will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory above $26.99, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that move are $30 to $35.

Barnes & Noble

Rocky Brands (BKS) - Get Barnes & Noble, Inc. Report operates as a content, commerce and technology company in the U.S. This stock is trading up 6.3% at $23.70 in Monday's trading session.

Monday's Volume: 898,000
Three-Month Average Volume: 713,889
Volume % Change: 176%

From a technical perspective, BKS is ripping sharply higher here right above some near-term support at $22.25 and off its 200-day moving average of $22.64 with above-average volume. This stock has been consolidating and trending sideways over the last month and change, with shares moving between $22.25 on the downside and $24.10 on the upside. This spike higher on Monday is now quickly pushing shares of BKS within range of triggering a big breakout trade above the upper-end of its recent sideways trending chart pattern. That trade will hit if BKS manages to take out some key near-term overhead resistance levels at its 50-day moving average of $23.87 and then above $24.10 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in BKS as long as it's trending above its 200-day at $22.64 or above more near-term support at $22.25 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 713,889 shares. If that breakout begins soon, then BKS will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $25.50 to its 52-week high of $26.22. Any high-volume move above $26.22 will then give BKS a chance to make a run at $30 a share.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.