3 Stocks Breaking Out on Big Volume

 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.

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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 recently.

YPF

YPF (YPF), an energy company, is engaged in the exploration, development and production of crude oil, natural gas and liquefied petroleum gas in Argentina. This stock closed up 10.3% to $31.09 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 11.41 million
Three-Month Average Volume: 1.05 million
Volume % Change: 700%

From a technical perspective, YPF exploded higher here back above its 50-day moving average of $29.06 with monster upside volume. This move pushed shares of YPF into breakout territory, since the stock took out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $29.68 to $30.08. This spike higher on Wednesday is quickly pushing shares of YPF within range of triggering another big breakout trade. That trade will hit if YPF manages to clear Wednesday's intraday high of $31.41 to more near-term overhead resistance at $31.53 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in YPF as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $29.06 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 1.05 million shares. If that breakout starts soon, then YPF will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $33.10 to its 52-week high at $34.24.

Clearwater Paper

Clearwater Paper (CLW) manufactures and sells private label tissue and paperboard products in the U.S. and internationally. This stock closed up 1.9% at $62.27 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 386,000
Three-Month Average Volume: 173,102
Volume % Change: 146%

From a technical perspective, CLW trended modestly higher here right above some near-term support at $60 with above-average volume. This spike higher on Wednesday pushed shares of CLW back above its 50-day moving average of $62.11 and it's quickly pushing the stock within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit if CLW manages to take out Wednesday's high of $62.32 to some more near-term overhead resistance levels at $63.35 to $63.93 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in CLW as long as it's trending above some key near-term support levels at $60 or at $59.07 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that's near or above 173,102 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then CLW will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $67.31 to its 52-week high of $68.30.

Activison Blizzard

Activison Blizzard (ATVI) publishes online, personal computer, video game console, handheld, mobile and tablet games. This stock closed up 8.8% at $21.01 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 19.42 million
Three-Month Average Volume: 6.44 million
Volume % Change: 259%

From a technical perspective, ATVI rocketed higher here right off its 50-day moving average of $19.99 with heavy upside volume. This move pushed shares of ATVI into breakout territory, since the stock took out some near-term overhead resistance at $20.31. This spike higher on Wednesday is now moving shares of ATVI within range of triggering an even bigger breakout trade. That trade will hit if ATVI manages to take out Wednesday's intraday high of $21.06 to its 52-week high at $21.50 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in ATVI as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $19.99 or above more near-term support at $19.12 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that's near or above 6.44 million shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then ATVI will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $25 to $30.

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.

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At the time of publication, author had no positions in stocks mentioned. Roberto Pedone, based out of Delafield, Wis., is an independent trader who focuses on technical analysis for small- and large-cap stocks, options, futures, commodities and currencies. Roberto studied international business at the Milwaukee School of Engineering, and he spent a year overseas studying business in Lubeck, Germany. His work has appeared on financial outlets including CNBC.com and Forbes.com. You can follow Pedone on Twitter at www.twitter.com/zerosum24 or @zerosum24.

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