5 Stocks Rising on Unusual Volume

MADISON, Wis. ( 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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Xoom ( XOOM) is engaged in online international money transfer service. This stock closed up 4.2% at $22.79 on Wednesday.

Wednesday's Volume: 319,000
Average Volume: 138,072
Volume % Change: 134%

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From a technical perspective, XOOM ripped higher here right above some near-term support at $21 with above-average volume. This stock has been uptrending strong for the last month, moving higher from its low of $17.68 to its intraday high of $23.74. During that uptrend, shares of XOOM have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now pushed shares of XOOM within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit if XOOM manages to take out some key overhead resistance levels at $24.60 to its all-time high at $26 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in XOOM as long as it's trending above $22 or $21 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 138,072 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then XOOM will set up to enter new all-time high territory above $26, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $30 to $33.

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