DELAFIELD, 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.
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 recently.
Sanofi (SNY) researches, develops, manufactures, and markets health care products. This stock closed up 1.1% at $51.82 in Monday's trading session.
Monday's Volume: 3.26 million
Three-Month Average Volume: 1.80 million
Volume % Change: 96%
From a technical perspective, SNY spiked modestly higher here right above its 200-day moving average of $51.06 with above-average volume. This stock recently formed a double top chart pattern at $52.76 to $52.74. Following that top, shares of SNY have pulled back a bit to right around its 200-day moving average. Shares of SNY are now starting to bounce higher again and move within range of triggering a breakout trade above those double top resistance levels.
Traders should now look for long-biased trades in SNY as long as it's trending above its 200-day at $51.06 or above its 50-day at $50.58 and then once it sustains a move or close above $52.74 to $52.76 with volume that's near or above 1.80 million shares. If that breakout starts soon, then SNY will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $53.63 to $54.49, or even its 52-week high at $55.94.
HFF (HF) provides commercial real estate and capital market services to users and providers of capital in the commercial real estate industry in the U.S. This stock closed up 2.2% at $34.87 in Monday's trading session.
Monday's Volume: 379,000
Three-Month Average Volume: 224,568
Volume % Change: 91%
From a technical perspective, HF spiked higher here right above some near-term support at $32.02 and above its 50-day moving average of $31.76 with above-average volume. This stock has been uptrending incredibly strong for the last six months, with shares soaring higher from its low of $21.88 to its recent high of $36.06. During that uptrend, shares of HF have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. This spike higher on Monday is now starting to push shares of HF within range of triggering a big breakout trade. That trade will hit if HF manages to take out Monday's high of $34.97 to its 52-week high of $36.06 with high volume.
Traders should now look for long-biased trades in HF as long as it's trending above support at $32.02 or above its 50-day at $31.76 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that's near or above 224,568 shares. If that breakout materializes soon, then HF will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $40 to $43.
Netflix (NFLX) provides Internet television network service that enables subscribers to stream TV shows and movies directly on TVs, computers and mobile devices in the U.S. and internationally. This stock closed up 0.20% at $338 in Monday's trading session.
Monday's Volume: 4.80 million
Three-Month Average Volume: 3.11 million
Volume % Change: 88%
From a technical perspective, NFLX bounced barely higher here right around its 200-day moving average of $333.85 with above-average volume. This stock has been absolutely destroyed over the last month and change, with shares plunging lower from its high or $458 to its intraday low of $331.11. During that drop, shares of NFLX have been consistently making lower highs and lower lows, which is bearish technical price action. That said, shares of NFLX have now entered oversold territory, since its current relative strength index reading is 22.86. Oversold can always get more oversold, but it's also an area where a stock can rebound sharply higher from.
Traders should now look for long-biased trades in NFLX as long as it's trending above Monday's low of $331.11 or above $330 and then once it sustains a move or close above Monday's high of 348.19 with volume that's near or above 3.11 million shares. If that move starts soon, then NFLX will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $371 to around $380, or even $390.
To see more stocks rising on unusual volume, check out the Stocks Rising on Unusual Volume portfolio on Stockpickr.
-- Written by Roberto Pedone in Delafield, Wis.