Stock Quotes in this Article: CPHD, SWKS

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.

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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.

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

Cepheid

Cepheid (CPHD) is a molecular diagnostics company that develops, manufactures and markets integrated systems for testing in the clinical market, as well as for application in its non-clinical market. This stock closed up 3.1% to $35.22 in Friday's trading session.

Friday's Volume: 4.11 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 551,367

Volume % Change: 693%

Shares of CPHD rose on Friday after the company's second-quarter adjusted profit surprised Wall Street and revenue beat analysts' estimates.

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From a technical perspective, CPHD ripped higher here back above its 200-day moving average at $35.10 with heavy upside volume. This move is quickly pushing CPHD within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if CPHD manages to take out Friday's high of $35.67 and then once it clears some more resistance at $36.49 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in CPHD as long as it's trending above $34 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 551,367 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then CPHD will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $39.15 to $40.31.

Skyworks Solutions

Skyworks Solutions (SWKS), together with its consolidated subsidiaries, is an innovator of high reliability analog and mixed signal semiconductors. This stock closed up 6.4% at $23.89 in Friday's trading session.

Friday's Volume: 15.35 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 3.47 million

Volume % Change: 390%

Shares of SWKS ripped higher on Friday after the company issued a positive outlook for the current quarter. The company said it expects earnings of 62 cents per share and revenues of $475 million for the quarter ending in September. Analysts had been looking for earnings of 60 cents per share and sales of $470 million.

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From a technical perspective, SWKS gapped up sharply higher here with monster upside volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of SWKS within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit if SWKS manages to take out some past overhead resistance levels at $25.10 to $26 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in SWKS as long as it's trending above $23 or its 50-day at $22.50 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that's near or above 3.47 million shares. If that breakout hits soon, then SWKS will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $29 to $30. Any high-volume move above those levels will then give SWKS a chance to tag $31.50 to $32.

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.