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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 recently.
EQT Midstream Partners
EQT Midstream Partners (EQM) owns, operates, acquires and develops midstream assets in the Appalachian Basin. It provides natural gas transmission, storage and gathering services. This stock closed up 5.1% at $45.80 on Wednesday.
Wednesday's Volume: 10.10 million
Average Volume: 200,025
Volume % Change: 6192%
Shares of EQM ripped higher on Wednesday after the company announced the pricing of 11 million common shares representing limited partner interests at $43.50 per share.
From a technical perspective, EQM jumped higher here right above some near-term support at $43.22 with heavy upside volume. This move is starting to push shares of EQM within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if EQM manages to clear some near-term overhead resistance levels at $47.27 to its 50-day moving average at $47.91 with high volume.
Traders should now look for long-biased trades in EQM as long as it's trending above support at $43.22 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 200,025 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then EQM will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $50.88 to its all-time high at $51.72. Any high-volume move above $51.72 will then give EQM a chance to tag $55 to $60.
Mid-Con Energy Partners
Mid-Con Energy Partners (MCEP) owns, operates, acquires, exploits and develops oil and natural gas producing properties in the Mid-Continent region of the U.S. This stock closed up 3% at $23.90 on Wednesday.
Wednesday's Volume: 140,000
Average Volume: 71,567
Volume % Change: 98%
From a technical perspective, MCEP jumped higher here back above its 50-day moving average of $23.36 with above-average volume. This move has pushed shares of MCEP into breakout territory, since the stock took out its 50-day and some near-term overhead resistance at $23.56.
Traders should now look for long-biased trades in MCEP as long as it's trending above Wednesday's low of $23.08 or $23, and then once it sustains a move or close above Wednesday's high at $24 with volume that's near or above 71,567 shares. If we get that move soon, then MCEP will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $25 to its all-time high at $26.50. Any high-volume move above $26.50 will then put $30 into range for shares of MCEP.
YPF Sociedad Anonima
YPF Sociedad Anonima (YPF) is an integrated oil and gas company. This stock closed up 5.6% at $17.19 on Wednesday.
Wednesday's Volume: 2.64 million
Average Volume: 579,942
Volume % Change: 370%
Shares of YPF trended up on Wednesday after Chevron (CVX) agreed to invest an initial $1.24 billion to develop a shale gas field owned by YPF. This is the first agreement signed by YPF since the Argentine government seized Repsol's 51% stake in May 2013.
From a technical perspective, YPF spiked higher here right above some near-term support at $16 with monster upside volume. This stock has been uptrending strong for the last three months, with shares moving higher from its low of $12.11 to its intraday high of $17.20. During that move, shares of YPF have been mostly making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move is now pushing shares of YPF within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit if YPF manages to take out some past overhead resistance at $17.89 with high volume.
Traders should now look for long-biased trades in YPF as long as it's trending above $16 or above $15.60 and then once it sustains a move or close above $17.89 with volume that's near or above 579,942 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then YPF will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $22.50 to $25.
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.