8 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."

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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.

Ixia

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Ixia ( XXIA) is a provider of converged test systems and services for wireless and wired infrastructures and services. This stock is trading up 13.3% at $12.71 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 746,000

Average Volume: 245,514

Volume % Change: 634%

Shares of XXIA are soaring today after the company beat Wall Street expectations on revenue and met expectations on earnings per share.

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From a technical perspective, XXIA is gapping up today on monster volume, and it's bumping up right against its 50-day moving average of $13.04.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades if XXIA can manage to close back above its 50-day, and continue to trend above that key moving average with heavy upside volume flows. Look for volume that's near or well above 245,514 shares. If we get that action soon, look for XXIA to make a run back toward its recent highs of $14.20 to $14.88.

Acacia Research

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Acacia Research ( ACTG), through its operating subsidiaries, acquires, develops, licenses and enforces patented technologies. This stock is trading up 7.3% at $42.29 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 913,000

Average Volume: 365,544

Volume % Change: 426%

Shares of ACTG are ripping higher today after the company said it earned $1.09 a share, beating Wall Street estimates of 99 cents per share. Revenue came in at $99 million, which also topped Wall Street estimates of $92 million.

From a technical perspective, ACTG is trending up strong today on monster volume, and this stock is flirting with a major breakout trade. That breakout was briefly hit when ACTG moved above some past overhead resistance at $43.83.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades if ACTG can manage to close above $43.83 and near its daily highs. If we get that action today or soon, look for ACTG to make a run at its 2011 high of $47.24. Any high-volume move then above $47.24 should set this stock up to hit $50 in the near future. I would consider any upside volume day that registers near or above 365,544 shares traded as bullish action.

As of the most recently reported period, Acacia was one of George Soros' top holdings.

Abaxis

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Abaxis ( ABAX) develops, manufactures, markets and sells blood analysis systems for use in the human or veterinary patient-care setting to provide clinicians with rapid blood constituent measurements. This stock is trading up 9.8% at $29.24 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 189,000

Average Volume: 92,214

Volume % Change: 379%

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From a technical perspective, ABAX is soaring today back above its 50-day moving average of $27.56 on above average volume. This move is quickly pushing the stock within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit once ABAX takes out some past overhead resistance at $30.50 to $31.69 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades as long as ABAX is trending above some near-term overhead resistance at $30 with volume that's near or well above 92,214 shares. I would get more bullish on ABAX once $31.69 is taken out with high volume.

Progenics Pharmaceuticals

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Progenics Pharmaceuticals ( PGNX) is a biopharmaceutical company focusing on the development and commercialization of therapeutic products to treat the unmet medical needs of patients with debilitating conditions and life-threatening diseases. The stock is trading up 5.8% at $10.40 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 100,000

Average Volume: 113,794

Volume % Change: 100%

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From a technical perspective, PGNX is ripping higher today on decent volume, and this stock is flirting with a major breakout trade. That trade will hit once PGNX takes out its 52-week high of $10.50 with high-volume. Keep in mind that the last time PGNX traded above $11 a share is back in 2008.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in PGNX if it can sustain a move or close above $10.50 with volume that's near or well above 113,794 shares. If we get that action today or soon, then PGNX could start a bigger trend toward $15.

E*Trade Financial

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E*Trade Financial ( ETFC) is a financial services company, which provides online brokerage and related products and services primarily to individual retail investors under the brand E*TRADE Financial. This stock is trading up 6.5% at $10.52 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 7.4 million

Average Volume: 6.1 million

Volume % Change: 207%

Shares of ETFC are ripping higher today after the company said late Thursday that its first-quarter net profit jumped to $62.6 million, or 22 cents per share, from $45.2 million, or 16 cents from the same period last year.

From a technical perspective, ETFC is moving sharply higher today back above both its 50-day and 200-day moving averages on above average volume. This move is quickly pushing ETFC within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit once ETFC takes out some near-term overhead resistance at $10.69 with high-volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades once ETFC manages to move or close above $10.69 with volume that's near or well above 6.1 million shares. If we get that action soon, look for ETFC to make a run at its recent highs of $11.50 to $12.45.

E*Trade shows up on a list of 10 Stocks Boosting Little Funds to Big Returns.

Amag Pharmaceuticals

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Amag Pharmaceuticals ( AMAG) is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of a therapeutic iron compound to treat iron deficiency anemia (IDA). This stock is trading up 4.3% at $15.93 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 148,000

Average Volume: 113,246

Volume % Change: 159%

Shares of AMAG are moving sharply higher today after the company announced a positive CHMP opinion for the approval of ferumoxytol in Europe for the treatment of iron deficiency anemia in adult patients with chronic kidney disease.

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From a technical perspective, AMAG is bouncing hard of some previous support levels near $15 to $15.15 today with above average volume. This move is pushing the stock within range of both its 200-day and 50-day moving averages.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades if AMAG can manage to sustain a move or close above its 200-day at $15.99 and its 50-day at $16.05 with high-volume. Look for volume that's near or well above 113,246 shares. If we get that action soon, look for AMAG to make a run at $17 to $18 in the near-term.

Microsoft

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Microsoft ( MSFT) develops, licenses and supports software products and services. It designs and sells hardware, and delivers online advertising to the customers. This stock is trading up 5.4% at $32.69 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 56.3 million

Average Volume: 48 million

Volume % Change: 160%

Shares of MSFT are ripping higher today after the company said it earned $5.11 billion, or 60 cents a share, on $17.41 billion in revenue. During the same period last year, MSFT earned $5.23 billion, or 61 cents a share, on sales of $16.4 billion.

From a technical perspective, MSFT is gapping up strong today back above its 50-day moving average of $31.62 on monster volume. This move is quickly pushing MSFT within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit once MSFT takes out some near-term overhead resistance at $32.70 to $32.95 with high-volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades once MSFT sustains a move or close over those levels on volume that's near or well above 48 million shares. If we get that action today or soon, look for MSFT to trade above $35 in the near future.

Microsoft shows up on recent lists of 10 Stocks That Fidelity Funds Are Buying and 10 Stocks That Boosted First-Quarter Mutual Fuind Returns.

Meridian Bioscience

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Meridian Bioscience ( VIVO) is a life science company, engages in the development, manufacture, sale, and distribution of diagnostic test kits primarily for gastrointestinal, foodborne, viral, respiratory, and parasitic infectious diseases. This stock is trading up 3.4% at $19.03 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 174,000

Average Volume: 292,308

Volume % Change: 75%

From a technical perspective, VIVO is moving notably higher today right after the stock recently found some buying interest near its 200-day and 50-day moving averages. This move is quickly pushing the stock within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit once VIVO takes out some past overhead resistance at $19.69 to $20.04 with high-volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades once VIVO triggers that breakout on volume that's near or well above 292,308 shares. A sustained move or close above $19.69 to $20.04 could set this stock up for some major upside. Some possible targets on the upside are $24 to $26.50, which is a gap down zone from back in 2011.

To see more stocks rising on unusual volume, 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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