4 Stocks Spiking 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.

REX American Resources (REX), through its subsidiaries, produces and sells ethanol. This stock closed up 3.9% to $72.24 in Monday's trading session.

Monday's Volume: 226,000
Three-Month Average Volume: 124,517
Volume % Change: 58%

From a technical perspective, REX trended higher here right above some near-term support at around $68 with above-average volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of REX within range of triggering a big breakout trade. That trade will hit if REX manages to take out Monday's intraday high of $72.88 to its 52-week high of $73.33 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in REX as long as it's trending above Monday's low of $69.81 or above more support near $68 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 124,517 shares. If that breakout gets started soon, then REX will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $80 to $85.

Alliant Techsystems (ATK) develops and produces aerospace, defense and commercial products to the U.S. government, allied nations, and prime contractors in the U.S., Puerto Rico and internationally. This stock closed up 2.6% at $129.62 in Monday's trading session.

Monday's Volume: 2.19 million
Three-Month Average Volume: 415,344
Volume % Change: 381%

From a technical perspective, ATK jumped higher here with heavy upside volume. This stock has been downtrending badly for the last month, with shares falling from its high of $157.72 to its recent low of $117.80. During that move, shares of ATK were consistently making lower highs and lower lows, which is bearish technical price action. That said, shares of ATK have now started to bounce off that $117 low, which also sits right around its 200-day moving average. Market players should now look for a continuation move higher in the short-term if ATK manages to clear Monday's intraday high of $130.45 with strong upside volume flows.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in ATK as long as it's trending above Monday's low of $126.46 or above $125 and then once it sustains a move or close above $130.45 with volume that this near or above 415,344 shares. If we get that move soon, then ATK will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $135 to its 50-day moving average of $138.71.

GasLog (GLOG), together with its subsidiaries, owns, operates, and manages vessels in the liquefied natural gas market worldwide. This stock closed up 4.5% at $24.42 in Monday's trading session.

Monday's Volume: 1.88 million
Three-Month Average Volume: 1.28 million
Volume % Change: 70%

From a technical perspective, GLOG ripped higher here right above some near-term support at $22.61 with above-average volume. This sharp spike higher on Monday is quickly pushing shares of GLOG within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if GLOG manages to take out Monday's intraday high of $24.99 to its 50-day moving average of $25.29 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in GLOG as long as it's trending above Monday's low of $23.46 or above more key near-term support at $22.61 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 1.28 million shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then GLOG will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $28 to its 52-week high at $28.89.

Vertex Energy (VTNR), an environmental services company, provides various services designed to aggregate, process and recycle industrial and commercial waste streams, as well as off-specification commercial chemical products. This stock closed up 7.5% at $10.55 in Monday's trading session.

Monday's Volume: 1.08 million
Three-Month Average Volume: 390,995
Volume % Change: 120%

From a technical perspective, VTNR ripped sharply higher here and broke out above some near-term overhead resistance at $10.48 with strong upside volume flows. This move also pushed shares of VTNR into new 52-week-high territory, after the stock tagged an intraday high of $11.25. Market players should now look for a continuation move to the upside in the short-term if VTNR manages to take out Monday's intraday high of $11.25 with strong volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in VTNR as long as it's trending above Monday's low of $9.81 or above more support at $9.50 and then once it sustains a move or close above $11.25 with volume that's near or above 390,995 shares. If that move starts soon, then VTNR will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that move are $13 to $15.

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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