Stock Quotes in this Article: ECPG, ENOC, SGMS


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.

Encore Capital Group

Encore Capital Group (ECPG) provides debt management and recovery solutions for consumers and property owners across a broad range of assets. This stock closed up 3.3% to $47.45 in Friday's trading session.

Friday's Volume: 1.25 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 265,751

Volume % Change: 439%

From a technical perspective, ECPG spiked higher here right off its 50-day moving average of $46.50 with strong upside volume. This move briefly pushed shares of ECPG into breakout and new 52-week-high territory, since the stock flirted with some near-term overhead resistance at $50.92. Shares of ECPG closed well below that breakout level at $47.45. Traders should now look for a continuation move higher if ECPG can get back into new 52-week-high territory in the near-term.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in ECPG as long as it's trending above Friday's low of $46.17 or above some more key near-term support at $45.68, and then once it sustains a move or close above its new 52-week high at $51.95 with volume that hits near or above 265,751 shares. If we get that move soon, then ECPG will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that move are $55 to $60.

EnerNOC

EnerNOC (ENOC) is engaged in providing energy management applications, services and products for smart grid, which include comprehensive demand response, data-driven energy efficiency, energy price and risk-management applications, services and products. This stock closed up 3.9% at $16.76 in Friday's trading session.

Friday's Volume: 944,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 222,785

Volume % Change: 303%

From a technical perspective, ENOC ripped higher here right off its 200-day moving average of $15.67 with strong upside volume. This move briefly pushed shares of ENOC into breakout territory, since the stock flirted with some near-term overhead resistance at $16.98. Shares of ENOC closed just below that level at $16.76. Market players should now look for a continuation move higher in the short-term if ENOC can manage to take out Friday's high of $17.33 with volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in ENOC as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $15.42 and then once it sustains a move or close above Friday's high of $17.33 with volume that hits near or above 222,785 shares. If we get that move soon, then ENOC will set up to re-test or possibly take out its 52-week high at $19.08 to more past resistance at $22.38.

Scientific Games

Scientific Games (SGMS) provides customized, end-to-end gaming solutions to lottery and gaming organizations globally. This stock closed up 3.6% to $18.05 in Friday's trading session.

Friday's Volume: 2.12 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 547,382

Volume % Change: 277%

From a technical perspective, SGMS trended higher here right above its 50-day moving average of $16.80 with strong upside volume. This move briefly pushed shares of SGMS into breakout and new 52-week-high territory, since the stock flirted with some near-term overhead resistance at $19.19. Shares of SGMS closed below its intraday high of $19.48 with shares finishing the session at $18.05. Market players should now look for a continuation move higher in the short-term if SGMS can manage to take out Friday's high of $19.48 with volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in SGMS as long as it's trending above Friday's low of $17.19 or above its 50-day at $16.80 and then once it sustains a move or close above Friday's high of $19.48 with volume that hits near or above 547,382 shares. If we get that move soon, then SGMS will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that move are $25 to $27.

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.