4 Health Care Stocks Triggering Breakout Trades on Unusual 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.

Must Read: 5 Stocks to Trade for Big Breakout Gains

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.

With that in mind, let's take a look at several stocks rising on unusual volume recently.

Must Read: 10 Stocks Billionaire John Paulson Loves in 2014

Hologic

Hologic (HOLX) develops, manufactures and supplies diagnostics products, medical imaging systems and surgical products for women. This stock closed up 2.6% at $24.79 in Monday's trading session.

Monday's Volume: 3.79 million
Three-Month Average Volume: 1.80 million
Volume % Change: 128%

From a technical perspective, HOLX jumped notably higher here right above some near-term support at $24.07 with above-average volume. This trend to the upside on Monday is starting to push shares of HOLX within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if HOLX manages to take out its 50-day moving average of $25.30 to some more near-term overhead resistance at $25.63 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in HOLX as long as it's trending above some key near-term support levels at $24.07 or above its 200-day moving average of $23.29 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that's near or above 1.80 million shares. If that breakout hits soon, then HOLX will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $26.47 to its 52-week high at $26.75. Any high-volume move above $26.47 will then give HOLX a chance to make a run at $30.

I also featured Hologic, one of Carl Icahn's top holdings, recently in "5 Stocks With Big Insider Buying."

Must Read: How to Trade the Market's Most-Active Stocks

Radius Health

Radius Health (RDUS) , a biopharmaceutical company, focuses on developing novel therapeutics for patients with osteoporosis and other serious endocrine-mediated diseases in the U.S. This stock closed up 4.5% to $15.30 in Monday's trading session.

Monday's Volume: 91,000
Three-Month Average Volume: 60,373
Volume % Change: 50%

From a technical perspective, RDUS spiked sharply higher here right above some near-term support at $14.10 with above-average volume. This stock has been uptrending strong for the last two months, with shares moving higher from its low of $8.08 to its recent high of $15.98. During that uptrend, shares of RDUS 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 RDUS within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit if RDUS manages to clear some key near-term overhead resistance levels at $15.72 to $15.98 and then above its all-time high at $17.32 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in RDUS as long as it's trending above some key near-term support levels at $14.10 or above its 200-day at $12.77 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 60,373 shares. If that breakout kicks off soon, then RDUS will set up to enter new all-time-high territory above $17.32, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that move are $20 to $23.

Must Read: 5 Short-Squeeze Stocks Set to Soar on Bullish Earnings

OncoMed Pharmaceuticals

OncoMed Pharmaceuticals (OMED) , a clinical development-stage biotechnology company, focuses on discovering and developing monoclonal antibody therapeutics targeting cancer stem cells. This stock closed up 5.3% at $18.08 in Monday's trading session.

Monday's Volume: 446,000
Three-Month Average Volume: 178,792
Volume % Change: 155%

From a technical perspective, OMED ripped higher here right above previous support at $16.57 with above-average volume. This stock has been downtrending badly for the last four months and change, with shares moving lower from its high of $28.43 to its recent low of $16.57. During that move, shares of OMED have been making mostly lower highs and lower lows, which is bearish technical price action. That said, shares of OMED have now starting to rebound off some previous support and it's quickly moving within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if OMED manages to clear some near-term overhead resistance levels at $19.17 to its 50-day at $19.92 and then above more resistance at $20 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in OMED as long as it's trending above some key near-term support at $16.57 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 178,792 shares. If that breakout kicks off soon, then OMED will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $21.80 to $22.43, or even $24 to $24.48.

Must Read: 5 Breakout Stocks Under $10 Set to Soar

Hyperion Therapeutics

Hyperion Therapeutics (HPTX) , a commercial biopharmaceutical company, focuses on the development and commercialization of therapeutics to treat disorders in the areas of orphan diseases and hepatology. This stock closed up 1.6% at $25.02 in Monday's trading session.

Monday's Volume: 215,000
Three-Month Average Volume: 136,470
Volume % Change: 50%

From a technical perspective, HPTX spiked modestly higher here right above some previous support at $23.73 with above-average volume. This spike higher on Monday also pushed shares of HPTX back above its 50-day moving average of $24.60. Shares of HPTX are now starting to trend within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if HPTX manages to take out its 200-day moving average of $25.53 to some more near-term overhead resistance at $26.25 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in HPTX as long as it's trending above support at $23.73 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that this near or above 136,470 shares. If that breakout gets started soon, then HPTX will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $27.89 to $28, or even $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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