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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Conceptus ( CPTS) develops, manufactures and markets the Essure permanent birth control system, an innovative and proprietary medical device for women. This stock is trading up 7.7% at $22.95 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 446,000

Average Volume: 202,753

Volume % Change: 287%

Shares of CPTS are ripping higher today after Cantor said following the company's strong fourth quarter results, that CPTS will keep generating double digit growth during 2013 and 2014. The firm kept its buy rating on the stock and raised its price target to $25 from $22 per share.

From a technical perspective, CPTS is soaring higher here right off its 50-day moving average of $21.39 with above-average volume. This move has started to push shares of CPTS into breakout territory, since the stock has cleared some near-term overhead resistance levels at $22.49 to $22.50. At last check, CPST has hit an intraday high of $23.85 and volume is well above its three-month average action of 202,753 shares.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in CPTS as long as it's trending above those breakout levels of $22.49 to $22.50 with strong upside volume flows. I would consider any upside volume day that registers near or above 202,753 shares as bullish. If CPTS can maintain that trend, then this stock will set up to trend north of $25 in the near future. Keep in mind that any move above $23.85 will push shares of CPTS into new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action.

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