4 Stocks Breaking Out on Big Volume: Polypore, AptarGroup and More

 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.

M/A-Com Technology Solutions

M/A-Com Technology Solutions (MTSI) , through its subsidiaries, designs, develops, manufactures and markets semiconductors and modules for use in wireless and wireline applications across the radio frequency, microwave and millimeterwave spectrum. This stock is trading up 6.3% to $32.53 in Friday's trading session.

Friday's Volume: 1.70 million
Three-Month Average Volume: 270,163
Volume % Change: 1830%

From a technical perspective, MTSI is gapping up sharply higher here right off its 50-day moving average of $30.27 with strong upside volume flows. This strong move to the upside on Friday is now quickly pushing shares of MTSI within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit if MTSI manages to clear some key near-term overhead resistance levels at $34 to its 52-week high of $34.85 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in MTSI as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $30.27 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that registers near or above 270,163 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then MTSI will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory above $34.85, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that move are $40 to $45.

Points International

Points International (PCOM) provides Web-based solutions to the loyalty program industry primarily in the U.S., Europe and Canada. This stock is trading up 5.4% to $11.06 in Friday's trading session.

Friday's Volume: 80,000
Three-Month Average Volume: 63,352
Volume % Change: 195%

From a technical perspective, PCOM is ripping higher here right above some near-term support at $10 with above-average volume. This stock has been downtrending badly for the last four months, with shares dropping sharply from its high of $18.50 to its new 52-week low of $9.20. During that downtrend, shares of PCOM have been consistently making lower highs and lower lows, which is bearish technical price action. That said, shares of PCOM are now starting to rebound off that $9.20 with bullish upside volume flows. That rebound is now quickly pushing shares of PCOM within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will trigger if PCOM manage to clear some key near-term overhead resistance levels at $11.99 to its 50-day moving average of $12.24 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in PCOM as long as it's trending above some key near-term support at $10 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that registers near or above 63,352 shares. If that breakout gets started soon, then PCOM will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $13.77 to $14.50.

Polypore International

Polypore International (PPO) develops, manufactures and markets specialized microporous membranes for the use in separation and filtration processes. This stock is trading up 1.2% to $48.29 in Friday's trading session.

Friday's Volume: 323,000
Three-Month Average Volume: 314,419
Volume % Change: 194%

From a technical perspective, PPO is trending modestly higher here and flirting with a breakout over some near-term overhead resistance at $48.56 with above-average volume. Shares of PPO have been uptrending strong over the last few weeks, with shares moving higher from its low of $40.76 to its intraday high of $48.77. During that uptrend, shares of PPO have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. This move has now pushed shares of PPO within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade above some key overhead resistance levels. That trade will trigger if PPO manages to take out some key near-term overhead resistance levels at Friday's intraday high of $48.77 to $50 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in PPO as long as it's trending above Friday's intraday low of $47.72 or above its 50-day moving average of $45.72 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 314,419 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then PPO will set up to re-test or possibly take out its 52-week high at $54.40. Any high-volume move above that level will then give PPO a chance to trend north towards $60.

AptarGroup

AptarGroup (ATR) develops, manufactures and sells consumer product dispensing systems in North America, Europe, Asia and Latin America. This stock is trading up 2.3% to $65.31 in Friday's trading session.

Friday's Volume: 349,000
Three-Month Average Volume: 254,879
Volume % Change: 166%

From a technical perspective, ATR is spiking higher here right off its 200-day moving average of $63.74 and back above is 50-day moving average of $64.95 with above-average volume. This move to the upside on Friday has briefly pushed shares of ATR into breakout territory, since this stock is flirting with some near-term overhead resistance at $66.41. Shares of ATR are now starting to trend within range of triggering a much bigger breakout trade. That trade will hit if ATR manages to clear some key near-term overhead resistance levels at $67 to its 52-week high at $68.67 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in ATR as long as it's trending above its 200-day moving average of $63.74 or above $63 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that registers near or above 254,879 shares. If that breakout develops soon, then ATR will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory above $68.67, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that move are $75 to $80.

-- 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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