6 Stocks Rising on Huge Volume

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 insider buying or selling -- or buying or selling by "superinvestors."

>>5 Big Stocks to Trade for End-of-Year Gains

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 today. They are all recording volume in midday trading that is already at least 50% above their average trading volume for a full day.

Ariad Pharmaceuticals

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Ariad Pharmaceuticals ( ARIA) is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of drugs to provide therapeutic intervention in treating human diseases at the cellular level. The stock is trading up 5.5% at $11.00 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 6.4 million Average Volume: 3.2 million

Volume % Change: 334%

Shares of ARIA are ripping to the upside today after the company announced the pricing of an underwritten public offering of 21.5 million shares of its common stock, at a price of $10.42 per share.

From a technical standpoint, ARIA is starting to move back above its 50-day moving average of $10.94 today on monster volume. Traders should look to get long this stock as long as ARIA can close above that 50-day at the end of the trading session.

If we get that action, then look for ARIA to re-test some prior overhead resistance at $12 to $12.50 a share in the near future. As long as ARIA can stay above the 50-day, then the stock should continue its uptrend.

Ariad shows up on a list of 10 Biotech Stocks Loved and Hated by the Pros for the most recently reported quarter.

Apogee Enterprises

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Apogee Enterprises ( APOG), one of the top-yielding materials and construction stocks, is engaged in the designing and development of value-added glass products, services and systems. The stock is trading up 14% at $12.11 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 131,000

Average Volume: 123,269

Volume % Change: 102%

Shares of APOG are soaring today after the company reported solid fiscal 2011 third-quarter results.

From a technical standpoint, APOG is starting to trigger a major breakout trade here now that the stock is moving above some past overhead resistance of $11.54 on strong volume.

Market players should now watch for a sustained move and close above $11.54 to trigger a much larger move higher in the near future. A possible upside target on this breakout is $13 to $14.50 as long as the upside volume remains strong.

Synchronoss Technologies

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Synchronoss Technologies ( SNCR) provides critical technology services to providers of communication devices and associated subscriber services. The stock is trading up 3.2% at $29.91 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 269,000

Average Volume: 334,500

Volume % Change: 67%

From a technical standpoint, SNCR are gapping higher today on strong volume back above both its 50-day and 200-day moving averages, which is bullish price action. Market players should now watch for a sustained move and close above both of those key moving averages to signal that this stock wants to trend much higher.

If we get that action, I would look for a re-test of some near-term overhead resistance at $31.18, and if that level is taken out with volume, look for $33 to $34 to get tagged in the near future.

Synchronoss shows up on a recent list of Goldman Sachs' Top Tech Stocks for 2012.

Amazon.com

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Amazon.com ( AMZN) is trading up 0.56% at $180.83 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 4.6 million

Average Volume: 7.2 million

Volume % Change: 50%

Shares of AMZN are advancing modestly today after the company said it has sold more than 1 million units of its Kindle e-reader and Fire table each week for the last three weeks.

From a technical standpoint, AMZN recently broke below some longer-term support at $177.10 and then traded down to a recent low of $170.25. The stock is bouncing strong of that low today with shares now trading around $181. If this bounce has legs, then look for AMZN to test $190 a share in the near-term.

If we get that action, then look for a high-volume move over $190 to trigger a run back toward its 200-day moving average of $200.94. Look for volume that's near or above 7.2 million to confirm this stock wants to trend higher.

Amazon, one of George Soros' top holdings, shows up on a list of 5 Holiday Stock Picks Sure to Please Investors.

Scholastic

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Scholastic ( SCHL), together with its subsidiaries, is a global children's publishing, education and media company. This stock is trading up 4% at $26.71 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 244,000

Average Volume: 162,230

Volume % Change: 166%

Shares of SCHL are jumping higher today by 4% after the company reported a strong fiscal second-quarter results. The company said earnings from continuing operations were $2.62 a share on revenue of $685.3 million.

From a technical standpoint, SCHL has started to flirt with its 50-day and 200-day moving averages off this move. Market players should now watch for the first buy trigger to hit once SCHL can sustain a move and close above those levels.

If we get that action, then look for a big breakout trade to trigger once SCHL takes out $27.78 on high volume. Look for volume near or above 162,230 on a move over $27.78. If we get that action, then this stock should setup to trend back towards $30 a share in the near future.

Honeywell International

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Honeywell International ( HON) operates as a diversified technology and manufacturing company worldwide. This stock is trading up 1.88% at $52.52 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 2.7 million

Average Volume: 5.2 million

Volume % Change: 67%

Shares of HON are moving higher today after the company said it expects 2012 sales to rise between 4% and 7% to between $37.8 billion and $38.9 billion. Honeywell also said 2012 per-share earnings should increase 6% to 12% from 2011 to $4.25 to $4.50.

From a technical standpoint, HON is starting to bounce off its 50-day moving average of $51.51 today on decent volume. Market players should now watch for the next buy point to trigger once the stock closes back above its 200-day moving average of $52.88.

If we get that action, then look for HON to make a run at its next significant overhead resistance level of $55.55.

Honeywell, one of Jim Cramer's Stocks to Watch this week, is on a list of Hedge Funds' Best Picks for 2012 for the most recently reported quarter.

Aetna

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Aetna ( AET) is a diversified health care benefits company, serving approximately 35.3 million people. This stock is trading up 1.3% at $39.41 in recent trading

Today's Volume: 2.3 million

Average Volume: 4.3 million

Volume % Change: 92%

Shares of AET are moving higher today after the company raised its 2011 and 2012 earnings outlook, citing strong results in October and November.

From a technical standpoint, AET has started to move above both its 50-day and 200-day moving averages on decent volume. Traders should now look for this stock to re-test its next significant near-term resistance level at $42.17, as long as the stock closes above both its 50-day and 200-day today.

To see more stocks rising on unusual volume, including Novellus Systems ( NVLS), United Stationers ( USTR) and TIBCO Software ( TIBX), check out the Stocks Rising On Unusual Volume 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.

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