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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.
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.
Compass Minerals (CMP) is a producer of minerals, including salt, sulfate of potash specialty fertilizer and magnesium chloride. This stock closed up 3.4% at $75.60 in Wednesday's trading session.
Wednesday's Volume: 913,000
Three-Month Average Volume: 212,481
Volume % Change: 315%
From a technical perspective, CMP gapped higher here off its recent low of $64.24 with heavy upside volume. This stock recently gapped down sharply from around $90 to $64.24 with heavy downside volume. That move pushed shares of CMP into extremely oversold territory, since the stock's current relative strength index reading is 25.78. Oversold can always get more oversold, but it's also an area where a stock can experience a powerful bounce higher from. Shares of CMP are now starting to move within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if CMP manages to take out its gap down day high of $78.20 and then once it clears its 200-day moving average at $79.14 with high volume.
Traders should now look for long-biased trades in CMP as long as it's trending above Wednesday's low of $73.07 or $72.50 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that's near or above 212,481 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then CMP will set up to re-fill some of its previous gap down zone that started near $90.
Renewable Energy Group
Renewable Energy Group (REGI) is a producer of biodiesel in U.S. This stock closed up 11.5% at $15.59 in Wednesday's trading session.
Wednesday's Volume: 1.59 million
Three-Month Average Volume: 634,616
Volume % Change: 235%
From a technical perspective, REGI exploded higher here right off its 50-day moving average of $13.83 with heavy upside volume. This move pushed shares of REGI into breakout and all-time high territory, since the stock flirted with some near-term overhead resistance levels at $14.75 to its former all-time high at $15.71. At last check, REGI closed near the highs of the day at $15.75 and volume was well above its three-month average action of 634,616 shares.
Traders should now look for long-biased trades in REGI as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $13.83 and then once it sustains a move or close above its new all-time high of $15.75 with volume that's near or above 634,616 shares. If we get that move soon, then REGI will set up to enter new all-time high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that move are $20 to $22.
Methanex (MEOH) produces and markets methanol, a chemical that is used to make a range of industrial, consumer and energy products. This stock closed up 2.9% at $47.83 in Wednesday's trading session.
Wednesday's Volume: 730,000
Three-Month Average Volume: 355,872
Volume % Change: 115%
From a technical perspective, MEOH jumped higher here right above some near-term support at $45 with above-average volume. This stock has been uptrending strong for the last month and change, with shares moving higher from its low of $40.14 to its intraday high of $47.87. During that move, shares of MEOH have been making mostly higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. This move also pushed shares of MEOH into breakout territory, since the stock took out its previous 52-week high at $47.32.
Traders should now look for long-biased trades in MEOH as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $44.03, and then once it sustains a move or close above its new 52-week high at $47.87 with volume that's near or above 355,872 shares. If we get that move soon, then MEOH will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that move are $50 to $55.
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.
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.