Stock Quotes in this Article: AU, BYI, CAVM, PCRX

WINDERMERE, Fla. (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.”

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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 today.

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Bally Technologies

Diversified gaming company Bally Technologies (BYI) is trading up 1.7% at $49.02 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 1.06 million

Average Volume: 510,815

Volume % Change: 216%

Shares of BYI are soaring higher today after the company said its second quarter net income jumped 37%, and it raised its expectations for the rest of the year.

From a technical perspective, BYI is bouncing strongly to the upside here right off its 50-day moving average of $45.98 and its 200-day moving average of $46.16 with above-average volume. This move has started to push shares of BYI into breakout territory, since the stock has cleared some near-term overhead resistance at $48.06. Shares of BYI are now quickly moving within range of triggering another near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if BYI manages to take out its 52-week high of $51.16 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in BYI as long as it’s trending above that near-term breakout level of $48.06, and then once it sustains a move or close above $51.16 with volume that hits near or above 510,815 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then BYI will have a great chance of tagging $55 or higher in the near future.

Pacira Pharmaceuticals

Pacira Pharmaceuticals (PCRX) is a U.S.-based pharmaceutical company that develops non-opioid products for postsurgical pain control. This stock is trading up 5.5% at $20.45 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 559,000

Average Volume: 305,060

Volume % Change: 209%

From a technical perspective, PCRX is soaring higher here right above some near-term support at $18.50 with above-average volume. This move has started to push shares of PCRX into new 52-week-high territory and new all-time high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Whenever a stock hits new all-time highs, then it means there’s no more overhead resistance to contend with.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in PCRX as long as it’s trending above $19 to $18.50 with strong upside volume flows. I would consider any upside volume day that registers near or above 305,060 shares as bullish. IF PCRX can maintain that trend, then look for this stock to hit $23 to $25 in the near future.

AngloGold Ashanti

AngloGold Ashanti (AU) is engaged in the mining, extraction and production of gold in South Africa and internationally. This stock is trading up 4.5% at $29.30 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 3.72 million

Average Volume: 1.65 million

Volume % Change: 194%

From a technical perspective, AU is bouncing higher here right above its recent low of $27.02 with heavy upside volume. This stock has been downtrending badly for the last five months, with shares plunging from its high of $36.87 to its recent low of $27.02. During that move, shares of AU have been consistently making lower highs and lower lows, which is bearish technical price action. That said, this bounce for AU off that $27.02 low is now quickly pushing the stock within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if AU manages to take out its 50-day moving average of $29.86 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in AU as long as it’s trending above today’s low of $28.10, and then once it sustains a move or close above its 50-day at $29.86 with volume that hits near or above 1.65 million shares. If that breakout hits soon, then AU will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $31.88 to its 200-day moving average at $32.87.

Cavium

Cavium (CAVM) is a provider of semiconductor processors that enable processing for networking, communications, storage, wireless, security, video and connected home and office applications. This stock is trading up 7.6% at $36 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 2.30 million

Average Volume: 952,560

Volume % Change: 261%

Shares of CAVM are exploding higher today after the company reported stronger-than-expected fourth quarter results, and Stifel Nicolaus increased their price target and maintained their buy rating on the stock.

From a technical perspective, CAVM is gapping up sharply here right above its 50-day moving average of $32.7 with monster upside volume. This move is quickly pushing the stock within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit if CAVM manages to take out some near-term and past overhead resistance levels at $36 to $36.61 and then $36.67 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in CAVM as long as it’s trending above today’s low of $34.10, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 952,560 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then CAVM will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $42 to $45.39.

To see more stocks rising on unusual volume, check out the Stocks Rising on Unusual Volume portfolio on Stockpickr.

-- Written by Roberto Pedone in Winderemere, Fla.


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At the time of publication, author had no positions in stocks mentioned.

Roberto Pedone, based out of Windermere, Fla., 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.