4 Stocks Triggering Breakout Trades With 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.

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.

C&J Energy Services

C&J Energy Services (CJES) , through its subsidiaries, provides hydraulic fracturing, coiled tubing, wireline and other complementary services to oil and gas exploration and production companies in the U.S. This stock closed up 2.9% at $29.55 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 1.95 million
Three-Month Average Volume: 879,264
Volume % Change: 161%

From a technical perspective, CJES spiked notably higher here right above its 200-day moving average of $28.06 and back above its 50-day moving average of $29.55 with above-average volume. This move to the upside on Wednesday also pushed shares of CJES into breakout territory, since the stock took out some near-term overhead resistance at $29.27. Shares of CJES are now starting to trend within range of triggering another breakout trade. That trade will hit if CJES manages to clear Wednesday's intraday high of $29.69 to some more near-term overhead resistance at $30.16 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in CJES as long as it's trending above its 200-day at $28.06 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 879,264 shares. If that breakout develops soon, then CJES will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $31.50 to $33

Valero Energy Partners

Valero Energy Partners (VLP) owns, operates, develops and acquires crude oil and refined petroleum products pipelines, terminals and other transportation and logistics assets in the U.S. This stock closed up 3.9% to $47.52 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 287,000
Three-Month Average Volume: 81,900
Volume % Change: 260%

From a technical perspective, VLP jumped notably higher here right above some near-term support at $45.03 with above-average volume. This stock has been downtrending for the last month, with shares moving lower from its high of $55.22 to its recent low of $45.03. During that downtrend, shares of VLP have been consistently making lower highs and lower lows, which is bearish technical price action. That said, shares of VLP have now started to spike off that $45.03 low and it's beginning to move within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if VLP manages to take out its 50-day moving average of $48.09 to some more near-term overhead resistance at $49.19 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in VLP as long as it's trending above some near-term support at $45.03 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 81,900 shares. If that breakout begins soon, then VLP will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $53.30 to $55.22.

Expedia

Expedia (EXPE) , together with its subsidiaries, operates as an online travel company in the U.S. and internationally. This stock closed up 2.3% to $85.94 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 3 million
Three-Month Average Volume: 1.67 million
Volume % Change: 66%

From a technical perspective, EXPE jumped higher here right above some near-term support at $82.85 and back above its 50-day moving average of $84.29 with above-average volume. This trend higher on Wednesday is starting to push shares of EXPE within range of triggering a big breakout trade. That trade will hit if EXPE manages to take out some key near-term overhead resistance levels at $88 to its 52-week high at $89.26 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in EXPE as long as it's trending above some near-term support at $82.85 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 1.67 million shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then EXPE will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $100 to $110.

Blackhawk Network

Blackhawk Network (HAWKB) provides various prepaid products and payment services. This stock closed up 1.6% at $25.02 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 442,000
Three-Month Average Volume: 260,141
Volume % Change: 93%

From a technical perspective, HAWKB trended modestly higher here right above some near-term support at $27.07 and back above its 50-day moving average of $27.73 with above-average volume. This stock has been uptrending strong for the last five months, with shares moving higher from its low of $22.49 to its recent high of $28.71. During that uptrend, shares of HAWKB have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now pushed shares of HAWKB within range of triggering a big breakout trade. That trade will hit if HAWKB manages to take out some key near-term overhead resistance levels at $28.60 to $28.68 and then above its all-time high at $28.71 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in HAWKB as long as it's trending above some key near-term support levels at $27.07 or above $26.47 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that this near or above 260,141 shares. If that breakout develops soon, then HAWKB will set up to enter new all-time-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that move are $35 to $40.

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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