Stock Quotes in this Article: AMAG, IMH, RS

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.

Reliance Steel & Aluminum

Reliance Steel & Aluminum (RS) provides metals processing services and distributes a full line of more than 100,000 metal products, including alloy, aluminum, brass, copper, carbon steel, stainless steel, titanium and specialty steel products. This stock is trading up 5.7% at $57.45 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 2.36 million

Average Volume: 441,714

Volume % Change: 769%

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From a technical perspective, RS is ripping higher here with monster volume. This move is quickly pushing RS within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit once RS manages to take out some key overhead resistance levels at $58.80 to $59.48 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in RS as long as it’s trending above $56 to $57 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 441,714 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then look RS to trend well north of $60 in the near future.

Amag Pharmaceuticals

Amag Pharmaceuticals (AMAG) utilizes its proprietary technology for the development and commercialization of a therapeutic iron compound to treat anemia and novel imaging agents to aid in the diagnosis of cancer and cardiovascular disease. This stock is trading up 4.5% at $16.15 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 251,000

Average Volume: 60,600

Volume % Change: 603%

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From a technical perspective, AMAG is bouncing higher here back above its 200-day at $15.75 and within range of its 50-day at $16.60 with above-average volume. At last check, AMAG has hit an intraday high of $16.87 and volume is well above its three-month average action of 60,600 shares. This move is coming off of oversold levels, since its current relative strength index reading is coming off of 30 with it now at 41.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in AMAG as long as it’s trending above its 50-day at $16.60 with strong upside volume flows. I would consider any upside volume day that registers near or above 60,600 shares as bullish. If AMAG can sustain that trend, then look for this stock to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance level at $18.50 in the near future.

Impac Mortgage

Impac Mortgage (IMH) focuses on mortgage and real estate services including primarily mortgage lending activities and portfolio loss mitigation and real estate service activities, and the management of the long-term mortgage portfolio. This stock is trading up 21% at $12.25 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 452,000

Average Volume: 163,627

Volume % Change: 577%

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From a technical perspective, IMH is gapping sharply higher here right off some near-term support at $10 with above-average volume. This move has started to push IMH into breakout and 52-week-high territory, since the stock has moved above some near-term overhead resistance levels at $11.57 to $11.94.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in IMH as long as it’s trending above those breakout levels with strong upside volume flows. I would consider any upside volume day that registers near or above its three-month average action of 163,627 shares as bullish. If IMH can maintain that trend, then this stock has a great chance of trending up towards $15 or higher in the near future.

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 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.