4 Stocks Spiking 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.

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.

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Chesapeake Energy

Chesapeake Energy ( CHK) is a natural gas and oil exploration and production company engaged in the exploration, development and acquisition of properties for the production of natural gas and crude oil from underground reservoirs. This stock closed up 6% at $20.11 on Wednesday.

Wednesday's Volume: 67.30 million

Average Volume: 13.47 million

Volume % Change: 430%

Shares of CHK ripped higher after the company announced the retirement of Aubrey McClendon, its co-founder and CEO.

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From a technical perspective, CHK gapped higher here with heavy upside volume. This stock has been uptrending strong for the last month and change, with shares moving higher from its low of $16.15 to its intraday high of $21.20. During that move, shares of CHK have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action.

That move has now pushed shares of CHK within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit if CHK manages to clear some near-term overhead resistance at $21.55 with high volume. At last check, CHK closed off its intraday high but still above its daily low of $19.90.

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