Stock Quotes in this Article: BITA, MKTG, YELP

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.

Yelp

Yelp (YELP) connects people with local businesses. This stock closed up 5.2% at $58.91 in Thursday's trading session.

Thursday's Volume: 5.87 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 2.42 million

Volume % Change: 150%

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From a technical perspective, YELP ripped sharply higher here right above some near-term support at $52.50 with strong upside volume. This stock has been uptrending strong for the last month, with shares moving higher from its low of $46.96 to its intraday high of $59. During that move, shares of YELP have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now pushed shares of YELP within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit if YELP manages to take out its all-time high at $59.35 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in YELP as long as it's trending above Thursday's low of $56.11 or above near-term support at $52.50 and then once it sustains a move or close above its all-time high at $59.35 with volume that's near or above 2.42 million shares. If that breakout hits soon, then YELP will set up to enter new all-time-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $65 to $70.

Responsys

Responsys (MKTG) is a provider of email and cross-channel marketing solutions that enable companies to engage in relationship-based marketing across the interactive channels. This stock closed up 4.4% at $15.27 in Thursday's trading session.

Thursday's Volume: 1.09 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 407,456

Volume % Change: 188%

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From a technical perspective, MKTG jumped sharply higher here right off its 50-day moving average of $14.34 with strong upside volume. This move pushed shares of MKTG into breakout territory, since the stock took out and closed above some near-term overhead resistance at $15.10.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in MKTG as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $14.34 and then once it sustains a move or close above Thursday's high of $15.40 with volume that this near or above 407,456 shares. If we get that move soon, then MKTG will set up to re-test or possibly take out its 52-week high at $16.93. Any high-volume move above $16.93 will then give MKTG a chance to tag its all-time high at $18.19.

Bitauto

Bitauto (BITA) is a provider of Internet content and marketing services for China's automotive industry. This stock closed up 11.3% to $15.52 in Thursday's trading session.

Thursday's Volume: 1.17 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 208,119

Volume % Change: 562%

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From a technical perspective, BITA soared higher here right above some near-term support at $13.69 with heavy upside volume. This stock briefly flirted with some key overhead resistance at $15.80 after it hit an intraday high of $16. Shares of BITA closed back below $16 at $15.52 with volume that was well above its three-month average action of 208,119 shares.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in BITA as long as it's trending above $14 or $13.69 and then once it sustains a move or close above Thursday's intraday high of $16 with volume that hits near or above 208,119 shares. If we get that move soon, then BITA will set up to re-test or possibly take out its 52-week high at $18.10. Any high-volume move above that level will then put $20 into range for shares of BITA.

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.