7 Stocks Leaping on Unusual 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. Often when above-average volume moves into an equity, it precedes a large spike in volatility.

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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.

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With that in mind, let's take a look at several stocks rising on unusual volume today.

Magnachip Semiconductor ( MX)

This company is a designer and manufacturer of analog and mixed-signal semiconductor products for consumer applications. This stock is trading up 5.8% at $14.07 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 550,000

Average Volume: 130,929

Volume % Change: 391%

From a technical perspective, MX is ripping higher here right above some near-term support at $12.99 with monster upside volume. This stock has been uptrending strongly for the last two months, with shares soaring from a low of $10.85 to its recent high of $14.28. During that move, shares of MX have been mostly making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now pushed MX within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit once MX clears some near-term overhead resistance levels at $14 to $14.42 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in MX as long as it's trending above its $12.99, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 130,929 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then MX will set up to enter new 52-week high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are 15 to its all-time high of $15.56.

Balchem ( BCPC)

This company is engaged in the development, manufacture and marketing of performance ingredients and products for the food, nutritional, feed, pharmaceutical and medical sterilization industries. This stock is trading up 2.8% at $36.25 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 178,000

Average Volume: 73,861

Volume % Change: 169%

From a technical perspective, BCPC is bouncing strongly to the upside here right off its 50-day moving average of $34.46 with above-average volume. This stock has been uptrending solidly for the last month and change, with shares soaring from a low of $31.04 to its recent high of $36.55. During that move, shares of BCPC have been mostly making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has pushed BCPC within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit once BCPC takes out some near-term overhead resistance at $36.50 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in BCPC as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $34.46, and then once it sustains a move or close above $36.50 with volume that hits near or above 73,861 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then BCPC will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $37.50 to $38.21. Any high-volume move above $38.21 will then put $40 to $42.50 into focus for shares of BCPC.

ArthoCare ( ARTC)

This is a multi-business medical device company that develops, manufactures and markets invasive surgical products. This stock is trading up 1.6% at $34.02 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 173,000

Average Volume: 124,635

Volume % Change: 54%

From a technical perspective, ARTC is bouncing higher here right off some near-term support at $33 with above-average volume. This stock has been uptrending solidly for the last two months, with shares soaring from a low of $29.33 to its recent high of $34.03. During that uptrend, shares of ARTC have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now pushed ARTC within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit once ARTC manages to clear its 52-week high of $34.03 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in ARTC as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $32.21, and then once it sustains a move or close above its 52-week high of $34.03 with volume that hits near or above 124,635 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then ARTC will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $35 to $36.

Meredith ( MDP)

This company engages in magazine publishing and related brand licensing, television broadcasting, integrated marketing, interactive media, and video production related operations. Meredith operates two business segments: national & local media. This stock is trading up 1.8% at $35.28 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 1.57 million

Average Volume: 344,213

Volume % Change: 438%

From a technical perspective, MDP is spiking higher here right above its 50-day moving average of $32.69 with monster upside volume. This stock has been uptrending strongly for the last month and change, with shares soaring from a low of $28.90 to its recent high of $35.68. During that move, shares of MDP have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now pushed shares of MDP within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit once MDP clears some near-term overhead resistance at $35.68 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in MDP as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $32.69, and then once it sustains a move or close above $35.68 with volume that hits near or above 344,213 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then MDP will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $37.37 to $37.84. Any high-volume move above $37.84 will then push MDP into new 52-week high territory, which is bullish technical price action.

Pool ( POOL)

This company is a wholesale distributor of swimming pool supplies, equipment and related leisure products and is the three distributors of irrigation and landscape products in the United States. This stock is trading up 1% at $41.83 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 560,000

Average Volume: 225,844

Volume % Change: 141%

From a technical perspective, POOL is trending modestly higher here back above its 50-day moving average of $41.39 with high volume. This move is quickly pushing POOL within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit once POOL manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $42.62 to $43.17 and then once it clears its 52-week high of $43.50 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in POOL as long as it's trending above its 50-day moving average of $41.39, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 225,844 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then POOL will set up to enter new 52-week high territory once it clears $43.50, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $45 to $47 in the near future.

Energy Company of Minas Gerais ( CIG)

This company is engaged in generation, transmission and distribution of electricity. It generates electricity through 49 hydroelectric plants, four thermoelectric plants, and one wind farm. This stock is trading up 4.46% at $12.88 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 9.56 million

Average Volume: 4.52 million

Volume % Change: 108%

From a technical perspective, CIG is gapping higher here right above its 50-day moving average of $11.87 with monster upside volume. This stock has been uptrending solidly for the last month and change, with shares moving higher from a low of $10.56 to its recent high of $13.06. During that move, shares of CIG have been mostly making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now pushed CIG within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit once CIG clears some near-term overhead resistance at $13.08 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in CIG as long as it's trending above 12.33, and then once it sustains a move or close above $13.08 with volume that hits near or above 4.52 million shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then CIG will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance level at $14.13. Any high-volume move above $14.13 will then give CIG a chance to re-fill some of its previous gap down zone from September that started around $17.

Lockheed Martin ( LMT)

This is a global security company is engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration, operation and sustainment of advanced technology systems and products. This stock is trading up 1% at $93.14 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 3.07 million

Average Volume: 1.63 million

Volume % Change: 90%

From a technical perspective, LMT is bouncing modestly higher here right off its 50-day moving average of $91.26 with above-average volume. This move is quickly pushing LMT within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit once LMT manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $93.67 to $94.10 and then once it clears $94.74 and its 52-week high of $95.92 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in LMT as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $91.26, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 1.63 million shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then LMT will set up to enter new 52-week high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $100 to $105 in the near future.

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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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.