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.
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.
Bancolombia (CIB) - Get Report is a Colombia-based financial institution primarily engaged, together with its subsidiaries, in the banking sector. This stock closed up 2.2% at $49.30 in Monday's trading session.
Monday's Volume: 769,000
Three-Month Average Volume: 197,617
Volume % Change: 270%
From a technical perspective, CIB trended higher here right above some near-term support at $47.59 with monster upside volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of CIB within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if CIB manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $49.52 to its 50-day moving average at $51.03 with high volume.
Traders should now look for long-biased trades in CIB as long as it's trending above Monday's low of $48.29 or above more near-term support at $47.59 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that's near or above 197,617 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then CIB will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $53.69 to $56.
ING U.S. (VOYA) - Get Report is a retirement, investment and insurance company serving the financial needs of approximately 13 million individual and institutional customers in the U.S. This stock closed up 2.7% to $36.65 in Monday's trading session.
Monday's Volume: 2.86 million
Three-Month Average Volume: 1.22 million
Volume % Change: 163%
From a technical perspective, VOYA jumped higher here and broke out into new all-time-high territory above some near-term overhead resistance at $36.07 with strong upside volume. This stock has been uptrending strong for the last three months, with shares moving higher from its low of $28.63 to its intraday high of $36.79. During that uptrend, shares of VOYA have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action.
Traders should now look for long-biased trades in VOYA as long as it's trending above some near-term support at $35 or above its 50-day at $34.14 and then once it sustains a move or close above Monday's high of $36.79 with volume that hits near or above 1.22 million shares. If we get that move soon, then VOYA will set up to enter new all-time-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that move are $40 to $45.
Hilltop (HTH) - Get Report operates as a holding company for PlainsCapital Bank that provides business and consumer banking services in Texas. This stock closed up 3.7% to $23.65 in Monday's trading session.
Monday's Volume: 1 million
Three-Month Average Volume: 395,019
Volume % Change: 143%
From a technical perspective, HTH ripped higher here right above some near-term support at $22.37 with above-average volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of HTH within range of triggering a major breakout trade above the upper-end of its recent range. That range has seen shares of HTH trend between $22.37 on the downside and $24.05 on the upside.
Traders should now look for long-biased trades in HTH as long as it's trending above some near-term support at $22.37 and then once it sustains a move or close above some near-term overhead resistance levels at $23.94 to its 52-week high at $24.05 with volume that hits near or above 395,019 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then HTH will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $30 to $33.
To see more stocks rising on unusual volume, check out the Stocks Rising on Unusual Volume portfolio on Stockpickr.
-- Written by Roberto Pedone in Delafield, Wis.
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At the time of publication, author had no positions in stocks mentioned. Roberto Pedone, based out of Delafield, Wis., is an independent trader who focuses on technical analysis for small- and large-cap stocks, options, futures, commodities and currencies. Roberto studied international business at the Milwaukee School of Engineering, and he spent a year overseas studying business in Lubeck, Germany. His work has appeared on financial outlets including CNBC.com and Forbes.com. You can follow Pedone on Twitter at www.twitter.com/zerosum24 or @zerosum24.