7 Breakout Stocks Spiking on Big Volume

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."

Stocks with unusual volume are something that I tweet about on a daily basis. These are also the exact type of stocks that I love to trade and alert to my subscribers in real-time.

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.

Encana

  • Thursday's Volume: 51.06 million
  • Three-Month Average Volume: 15.70 million
  • Volume % Change: 243%

Encana  (ECA)  engages in the development, exploration, production and marketing of natural gas, oil and natural gas liquids in Canada and the U.S. This stock closed up 7.6% to $10.10 in Thursday's trading session.

From a technical perspective, Encana ripped sharply higher on Thursday back above its 20-day moving average of $9.67 a share with monster upside volume flows. This high-volume spike to the upside also managed to push this stock into breakout territory, after shares of Encana closed above some near-term overhead resistance at $9.70 a share. Shares of Encana are now quickly moving within range of triggering another big breakout trade above some key overhead resistance levels. That trade will trigger if this stock manages to take out Thursday's intraday high of $10.22 a share and then above its 52-week high of $10.75 a share with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in Encana as long as it's trending above its 20-day moving average of $9.67 a share or above Thursday's intraday low of $9.43 a share and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 15.70 million shares. If that breakout takes hold soon, then this stock will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $11.50 to $12, or even $13 a share.

Imperial Oil

  • Thursday's Volume: 652,000
  • Three-Month Average Volume: 160,498
  • Volume % Change: 312%

Imperial Oil  (IMO)  explores for, produces and sells crude oil and natural gas in Canada. This stock closed up 1.7% to $31.55 in Thursday's trading session.

From a technical perspective, Imperial Oil jumped notably higher on Thursday right off its 50-day moving average of $30.72 a share and back above its 200-day moving average of $31.08 a share with strong upside volume flows. This high-volume spike to the upside is now quickly pushing shares of Imperial Oil within range of triggering a major breakout trade above some key overhead resistance levels. That trade will trigger if this stock manages to take out Thursday's intraday high of $31.16 a share and then once it clears more near-term overhead resistance at $32.30 a share with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in Imperial Oil as long as it's trending above its 200-day moving average of $31.08 a share or above its 50-day moving average of $30.72 a share and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 160,498 shares. If that breakout develops soon, then this stock will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $34 to its 52-week high of $35.48, or even $$37 a share.

Continental Resources

  • Thursday's Volume: 7.98 million
  • Three-Month Average Volume: 2.97 million
  • Volume % Change: 167%

Continental Resources  (CLR)  explores for, develops and produces crude oil and natural gas properties in the U.S. This stock closed up 5.9% to $50.99 in Thursday's trading session.

From a technical perspective, Continental Resources ripped sharply higher on Thursday right off its 20-day moving average of $47.87 a share and into breakout territory above some near-term overhead resistance at $48.68 a share with monster upside volume flows. This high-volume spike to the upside also managed to push shares of Continental Resources briefly into new 52-week-high territory, above some more near-term resistance at $51.99 a share. Market players should now look for a continuation move to the upside in the short-term if this stock manages to take out Thursday's intraday high of $52.26 a share with strong volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in Continental Resources as long as it's trending above $48.68 a share or above its 20-day moving average of $47.87 a share and then once it sustains a move or close above Thursday's intraday high of $52.26 a share with volume that hits near or above 2.97 million shares. If that move gets underway soon, then this stock will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that move are $54 to $55, or even $60 a share.

Silicon Laboratories

  • Thursday's Volume: 671,000
  • Three-Month Average Volume: 214,450
  • Volume % Change: 203%

Silicon Laboratories  (SLAB) , a fabless semiconductor company, designs, develops and markets mixed-signal analog intensive integrated circuits in the U.S., China and internationally. This stock closed up 1.6% to $57.78 in Thursday's trading session.

From a technical perspective, Silicon Laboratories trended modestly higher on Thursday right off its 20-day moving average of $56.33 a share with strong upside volume flows. This stock has been uptrending strong over the last three months, with shares moving higher off its low of $44.52 a share to its recent high of $58.21 a share. During that uptrend, this stock has been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That strong trend has now pushed shares of Silicon Laboratories within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will trigger if this stock manages to take out Thursday's intraday high of $58.13 a share and then once it clears its 52-week high of $58.21 a share to some past resistance at $58.54 a share with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in Silicon Laboratories as long as it's trending above its 20-day moving average of $56.33 a share or above its 50-day moving average of $55.03 a share and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that registers near or above 214,450 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then this stock will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $60 to $65 a share.

Cabela's

  • Thursday's Volume: 2.12 million
  • Three-Month Average Volume: 656,267
  • Volume % Change: 239%

Cabela's  (CAB)  operates as a specialty retailer and direct marketer of hunting, fishing, camping and related outdoor merchandise. This stock closed up 2.2% to $53.55 in Thursday's trading session.

From a technical perspective, Cabela's spiked notably higher on Thursday right above its 50-day moving average of $50.72 a share with strong upside volume flows. This high-volume jump to the upside is now quickly pushing shares of Cabela's within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade above some key overhead resistance levels. That trade will trigger if this stock manages to take out Thursday's intraday high of $54.73 a share and then once it clears its 52-week high of $54.84 a share with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in Cabela's as long as it's trending above some near-term support at $52.25 a share or above Thursday's intraday low of $51.38 a share and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 656,267 shares. If that breakout fires off soon, then this stock will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that move are $59 to $60, or even $65 a share.

Helmerich & Payne

  • Thursday's Volume: 5.20 million
  • Three-Month Average Volume: 1.66 million
  • Volume % Change: 209%

Helmerich & Payne  (HP)  engages in the contract drilling of oil and gas wells. This stock closed up 3.9% to $65.26 in Thursday's trading session.

From a technical perspective, Helmerich & Payne ripped sharply higher on Thursday and broke out above some near-term overhead resistance levels at $63.76 to $65.32 a share with strong upside volume flows. Market players should now look for a continuation move to the upside in the short-term if shares of Helmerich & Payne mange to take out Thursday's intraday high of $66.88 a share with strong volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in Helmerich & Payne as long as it's trending above some near-term support at $63.76 a share or above Thursday's intraday low of $63.13 a share and then once it sustains a move or close above Thursday's intraday high of $66.88 a share with volume that hits near or above 1.66 million shares. If that move gets underway soon, then this stock will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $69.50 to its 52-week high of $70.28 a share, or even $74 a share.

Expedia

  • Thursday's Volume: 5.57 million
  • Three-Month Average Volume: 2.01 million
  • Volume % Change: 159%

Expedia  (EXPE)  operates as an online travel company in the U.S. and internationally. This stock closed up 2% to $118.40 in Thursday's trading session.

From a technical perspective, Expedia jumped notably higher on Thursday and broke out above some near-term overhead resistance at $117.72 a share with strong upside volume flows. This high-volume bump to the upside is now quickly pushing shares of Expedia within range of triggering another big breakout trade above some key overhead resistance levels. That trade will trigger if this stock manages to take out Thursday's intraday high of $119.15 a share and then above more near-term resistance at $119.50 a share with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in Expedia as long as it's trending above Thursday's intraday low of $115.56 a share or above $114.70 a share and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 2.01 million shares. If that breakout kicks off soon, then this stock will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $125 to $132, or even $140 a share.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.

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