Stock Quotes in this Article: CL, ONXX, TSLA

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.

 

Tesla Motors

Tesla Motors (TSLA) designs, develops, manufactures and sells electric vehicles and advanced electric vehicle powertrain components. This stock is trading up 4.9% at $31.88 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 1.8 million

Average Volume: 1.3 million

Volume % Change: 171%

Shares of TSLA are moving sharply higher today after Morgan Stanley upgraded the stock to an overweight rating from an underweight rating, and raised its price target to $50 from $45.

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From a technical perspective, TSLA is gapping up strong here back above its 200-day moving average of $31.05 and above some near-term overhead resistance at $31.30 with above-average volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in TSLA as long as it can maintain its trend above its 200-day at $31.05 with strong upside volume flows. I would consider any upside volume day that registers near or above 1.3 million shares as bullish. If TSLA can hold that trend, then this stock has a great chance of re-testing or taking out its next major overhead resistance level at $36.

Onyx Pharmaceuticals

Onyx Pharmaceuticals (ONXX), a biopharmaceutical company, is developing therapies that target the molecular mechanisms that cause cancer. This stock is trading up 4.3% at $79.99 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 1.5 million

Average Volume: 2.1 million

Volume % Change: 90%

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From a technical perspective, ONXX is moving sharply higher here with decent volume. This move has now pushed ONXX above some near-term overhead resistance levels at $78.78 to $79.20, and it’s pushed the stock into new 52-week-high territory.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in ONXX as long as it’s trending above $78.78 with strong upside volume flows. I would consider any upside volume day that registers near or above 2,131,430 shares as bullish. If ONXX can maintain that trend, then this stock has a great chance of hitting $90 to $100 in the near future.

Colgate-Palmolive

Colgate-Palmolive (CL) is a consumer products company whose products are marketed in over 200 countries and territories worldwide. This stock is trading up 1.2% at $104.97 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 1.5 million

Average Volume: 1.8 million

Volume % Change: 50%

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From a technical perspective, CL is moving modestly higher here with decent volume. This move has started to push CL within range of its 50-day moving average of $105.15. At last check, CL has hit an intraday high of $105.47 and volume is very close to eclipsing its three-month average action of 1.8 million shares.

Traders should now look for long-biased traders in CL as long as it’s trending close to or above its 50-day moving average of $105.15 with strong upside volume flows. I would consider any upside volume day that registers near or above 1,756,190 shares as bullish. If CL can hold a trend above its 50-day, then it will have a great chance of re-testing or taking out its next major overhead resistance levels at $108 to $109.84.

On the flip side, I would avoid CL or look for short-biased trades if it fails to hold a trend above its 50-day, and then takes out some major near-term support at $102.50 with strong volume.

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 stocks, options, futures, commodities and currencies. He is also an outside contributor to Beconequity.com and maintains the website Maddmoney.net, which he sold to Blue Wave Advisors in 2008. Roberto studied International Business at The Milwaukee School of Engineering, and he spent a year overseas studying business in Lubeck, Germany.