WINDERMERE, Fla. (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. Many times when above-average volume moves into 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.
Let's take a look at a several
is a developer, owner and operator of casino entertainment facilities in local and regional markets. The stock is trading up 5.3% at $21.49 in recent trading.
Today's Volume: 1.16 milion
Average Volume: 226,675
Volume % Change: 699%
From a technical perspective, ASCA is gapping up big today and
above some near-term overhead resistance at $21 with heavy volume. That said, the stock is trading well off its daily high of $23.41, which could mean this gap up isn't going to last for long.
Traders should only look for long biased trades in ASCA if the stock is trending above that key $21 breakout level, and they should look for short biased trades on any high-volume break below $21.
Ameristar is one of the
develops, manufactures, markets and sells treatments for aortic disorders. The stock is trading up 5.3% at $14.11 in recent trading.
Today's Volume: 785,000
Average Volume: 405,834
Volume % Change: 196%
, ELGX has started to trigger a big breakout trade today now that this stock is moving above some near-term overhead resistance at $13.80 with heavy volume.
Traders should continue to look for long-biased trades in ELGX as long as this stock is trending above $13.80 with strong upside volume flows.
I featured Endologix recently in "
is an electronic materials provider that develops, manufactures and sells monocrystalline sapphire and other crystalline products for light-emitting diodes, radio frequency integrated circuits, blue laser diodes, optoelectronics and other optical applications. This stock is trading up 15% at $10.80 in recent trading.
Today's Volume: 1.25 million
Average Volume: 539,190
Volume % Change: 186%
From a technical perspective, RBCN is ramping sharply higher today on monster volume. This move now puts the stock within range of moving back above its 50-day moving average of $10.84, and within range of filling a recent gap down in price from over $12.
Traders should continue to look for long biased trades in RBCN if this stock closes above its 50-day today. If we get that action, then look for RBCN to fill that near-term gap and make a run at $12 or higher in the very near future.
I featured Rubicon as a
is a provider of semiconductor testing and assembly services. This stock is trading up 4.9% at $16.15 in recent trading.
Today's Volume: 335,000
Average Volume: 161,413
Volume % Change: 158%
From a technical perspective, IMOS recently broke out above some near-term overhead resistance at $13.68 with monster volume. Since triggering that breakout, the stock has ripped higher towards its current price of just over $16.
If this stock can manage to close near its daily highs today of $16.22, then traders should continue to look for long-biased trades. It's possible that this stock could continue to trend higher towards the psychologically important level of $20. That said, the stock is entering overbought territory since its current relative strength index is now 83.87.
, along with its subsidiaries is engaged in designs, manufactures and markets mobile communication and media devices, personal computers, and portable digital music players, and sells a range of related software, services, peripherals, networking solutions, and third-party digital content and applications. This stock is trading up 3.7% at $589 in recent trading.
Today's Volume: 27.5 million
Average Volume: 15.8 million
Volume % Change: 101%
From a technical perspective, AAPL is gapping up big today on monster volume. This stock has been on a tear since it recently broke out above some near-term overhead resistance at $548.21. That run has taken the stock to its daily high today of $594.72.
Traders should now look for long-biased trades if AAPL can manage to print a new all-time high above $594.72, and they should look for short-term short biased trades if the stock takes out its daily low of $576.08. A move below that daily low will put AAPL into play to fill some of the gap up back down to around $560.
Apple, one of
, was also featured recently in "
provides a range of banking and related services through its banking and other subsidiaries in Utah, California, Texas, Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, Idaho, Washington and Oregon. This stock is trading up 9.7% at $21.42 in recent trading.
Today's Volume: 8.3 million
Average Volume: 3.5 million
Volume % Change: 218%
From a technical perspective, ZION is gapping up big today and breaking out above some near-term overhead resistance at $20.10 with monster volume.
Traders should continue to look for long biased traders in ZION as long as the stock is trending above $20.10 with strong upside volume flows. If the stock holds this breakout, then look for ZION to re-test its next significant overheard resistance levels at $23 to $24.
Zions shows up on a recent list of
is an online game developer and operator in People's Republic of China. The stock is trading up 6.6% at $12.80 in recent trading.
Today's Volume: 1.72 million
Average Volume: 737,343
Volume % Change: 213%
From a technical perspective, PWRD sharp move higher today on strong volume has now put the stock within range of triggering a big breakout trade.
Market players should now watch PWRD for a sustained high-volume move and close above $12.75 to $13.26 to signal that the stock wants to trend higher. Look for volume on that move that's near or well above 737,343 shares. If we get that action soon, look for PWRD to re-test its 200-day moving average of $14.72 very quickly.
To see more stocks rising on unusual volume, check out the
portfolio on Stockpickr.
-- Written by Roberto Pedone in Winderemere, Fla.
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At the time of publication, author had no positions in stocks mentioned.
Roberto Pedone, based out of Windermere, Fla., is an independent trader who focuses on stocks, options, futures, commodities and currencies. He is also an outside contributor to Beconequity.com and maintains the website Maddmoney.net, which he sold to Blue Wave Advisors in 2008. Roberto studied International Business at The Milwaukee School of Engineering, and he spent a year overseas studying business in Lubeck, Germany.