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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.

Akamai Technologies

Akamai Technologies (AKAM) - Get Akamai Technologies, Inc. Report provides cloud services for delivering, optimizing and securing online content and business applications in the U.S. and internationally. This stock is trading up 2% to $63.47 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 2.72 million
Three-Month Average Volume: 1.34 million
Volume % Change: 350%

From a technical perspective, AKAM is gapping notably higher here with above-average volume. This spike to the upside on Wednesday has now pushed shares of AKAM into breakout territory, since this stock has taken out some key near-term overhead resistance at $63.33. This move is now quickly pushing shares of AKAM within range of triggering another major breakout trade. That trade will hit if AKAM manages to take out some more key near-term overhead resistance levels at $65.21 to its 52-week high at $65.39 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in AKAM as long as it's trending above Wednesday's intraday low of $63.07 or above its 50-day moving average of $61.55 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that registers near or above 1.34 million shares. If that breakout materializes soon, then AKAM will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $70 to $75.

Sangamo Biosciences

Sangamo Biosciences (SGMO) - Get Sangamo Therapeutics, Inc. Report , a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company, focuses on the research, development and commercialization of zinc finger DNA-binding proteins for gene regulation and gene modification in the U.S. This stock is trading up 15.7% to $14.66 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 1.15 million
Three-Month Average Volume: 901,366
Volume % Change: 146%

From a technical perspective, SGMO is exploding higher here right off its 200-day moving average of $13.13 and back above its 50-day moving average of $13.93 with strong upside volume flows. This monster move to the upside on Wednesday is now starting to push shares of SGMO within range of triggering a major breakout trade above some key near-term overhead resistance levels. That trade will hit if SGMO manages to take out some key overhead resistance levels at $16.43 to $16.93 with high volume.

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Traders should now look for long-biased trades in SGMO as long as it's trending above Wednesday's intraday low of $12.94 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that registers near or above 901,366 shares. If that breakout develops soon, then SGMO will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance level at its 52-week high of $24.69.

FMC Technologies

FMC Technologies (FTI) - Get TechnipFMC Plc Report provides technology solutions for the energy industry worldwide. This stock is trading up 4.1% at $40.54 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 3.82 million
Three-Month Average Volume: 3.24 million
Volume % Change: 150%

From a technical perspective, FTI is ripping higher here right off some near-term support at $38 with above-average volume. This stock has been downtrending badly for the last month and change, with shares moving lower from its high of $48.75 to its new 52-week low of $34.85. During that downtrend, shares of FTI have been consistently making lower highs and lower lows, which is bearish technical price action. That said, shares of FTI have now started to rebound off that $34.85 low and off some near-term support at $38 with strong upside volume flows. This spike to the upside on Wednesday is now quickly pushing shares of FTI within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit if FTI manages to clear some key near-term overhead resistance levels at $41.11 to its 50-day moving average of $42.71 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in FTI as long as it's trending above some key near-term support at $38 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that registers near or above 3.24 million shares. If that breakout develops soon, then FTI will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $45 to $48.75, or even $50.

Hydrogenics

Hydrogenics (HYGS) - Get Hydrogenics Corporation Report , together with its subsidiaries, designs, develops and manufactures hydrogen generation products based on water electrolysis technology, as well as fuel cell products based on proton exchange membrane technology. This stock is trading up 4.4% at $14.99 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 121,000
Three-Month Average Volume: 104,052
Volume % Change: 180%

From a technical perspective, HYGS is spiking sharply higher here right above its 50-day moving average of $13.68 with decent upside volume flows. This stock has formed a major bottoming chart pattern over the last month and change, with shares finding buying interest at $12.85, $13.40, $13.32 and $13.34. Following that bottom, shares of HYGS have now started to trend back above its 50-day moving average and it's beginning to move within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if HYGS manages to take out some key near-term overhead resistance at $15.83 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in HYGS as long as it's trending above its 50-day moving average of $13.68 and then once it sustains a move or close above $15.83 with volume that registers near or above 104,052 shares. If that breakout gets started soon, then HYGS will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $16.83 to its 200-day moving average of $17.07, or more resistance at $19.

-- 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.