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
-- 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
) provides online customized marketing products and services. This stock closed up 5.2% to $55.01 in Friday's trading session.
Friday's Volume: 1.16 million
Three-Month Average Volume: 250,767
Volume % Change: 396%
Shares of VPRT jumped higher on Friday after the company reported a profit topping Wall Street expectations and beat the revenue expectation.
From a technical perspective, VPRT broke out here above some near-term overhead resistance at $53.16 with heavy upside volume. This stock has been uptrending strong for the last four months, with shares moving higher from its low of $36.51 to its intraday high on Friday of $55.25. During that uptrend, shares of VPRT have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now pushed shares of VRPT within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit if VRPT manages to take out $55.25 to its three-year high at $56.25.
Traders should now look for long-biased trades in VPRT as long as it's trending above $53.16 or above $52 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 250,767 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then VRPT will set up to enter new 52-week- and three-year-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $60 to $65.
) and its subsidiaries develop, operate and franchise family dining and entertainment centers under the name Chuck E. Cheese's in 47 states and eight foreign countries and territories. This stock closed up 2.2% at $42.95 in Friday's trading session.
Friday's Volume: 452,000
Three-Month Average Volume: 102,668
Volume % Change: 414%
Shares of CEC popped higher on Friday after the company beat Wall Street's earnings estimates by 9 cents per share, reported in-line revenue and guided fiscal-year 2013 EPS estimates above consensus.
From a technical perspective, CEC trended up here right off its 50-day moving average of $41.98 with strong upside volume flows. This move is starting to push shares of CEC within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit if CEC manages to take out Friday's high of $44.30 to its 52-week high of $45.66 with high volume.
Traders should now look for long-biased trades in CEC as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $41.98 or above more near-term support at $41.48 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 102,668 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then CEC will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $50 to $55.
) owns, develops, operates and franchises the Chili's Grill & Bar and Maggiano's Little Italy restaurant brands. This stock closed up 6.8% at $43.74 in Friday's trading session.
Friday's Volume: 5.26 million
Three-Month Average Volume: 1.23 million
Volume % Change: 327%
Shares of EAT ripped higher on Friday after the company delivered a profit that beat Wall Street's expectations but came up short on beating the revenue expectations.
From a technical perspective, EAT gapped up sharply right above its 50-day moving average of $40.07 with heavy upside volume flows. This move pushed shares of EAT into breakout and new 52-week-high territory, since the stock took out some near-term overhead resistance at $41.93. At last check, EAT hit an intraday high of $44.28 and volume was well above its three-month average action of 1.23 million shares.
Traders should now look for long-biased trades in EAT as long as it's trending above that breakout level of $41.93 or above $41 and then once it sustains a move or close above its new 52-week high at $44.28 with volume that's near or above 5.26 million shares. If we get that move soon, then EAT will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $50 to $52.
To see more stocks rising on unusual volume, check out the
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-- 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
. You can follow Pedone on Twitter at www.twitter.com/zerosum24 or @zerosum24.