Stock Quotes in this Article: AFFY, OPXA, STEM, ACST

WINDERMERE, Fla. (Stockpickr) -- At Stockpickr, we track daily portfolios of stocks that are the biggest percentage gainers and the biggest percentage losers.

Stocks that are making large moves like these are favorites among short-term traders because they can jump into these names and try to capture some of that massive volatility. Stocks that are making big-percentage moves either up or down are usually in play because their sector is becoming attractive or they have a major fundamental catalyst such as a recent earnings release. Sometimes stocks making big moves have been hit with an analyst upgrade or an analyst downgrade.

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Regardless of the reason behind it, when a stock makes a large-percentage move, it is often just the start of a new major trend -- a trend that can lead to huge profits. If you time your trade correctly, combining technical indicators with fundamental trends, discipline and sound money management, you will be well on your way to investment success.

With that in mind, let's take a closer look at a several stocks that are making large moves to the upside today.

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Opexa Therapeutics

Opexa Therapeutics (OPXA) is engaged in developing personalized cellular therapies with the potential to treat major illnesses, including multiple sclerosis. This stock closed up 3.4% to $2.12 in Thursday.

Thursday's Range: $1.97-$2.23

52-Week Range: $1.07-$5.19

Volume: 300,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 373,233

From a technical perspective, OPXA bounced higher here right off its 200-day moving average of $2.05 with lighter-than-average volume. This stock has been downtrending badly for the last month, with shares dropping from its high of $5.19 to its recent low of $1.28. During that move, shares of OPXA were mostly making lower highs and lower lows, which is bearish technical price action. That said, OPXA has started to rebound off that $1.28 low and quickly moving within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if OPXA manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance at $2.26 to $2.48 and then above $2.74 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in OPXA as long as it’s trending above its 50-day at $1.75 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 373,233 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then OPXA will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance level at $3.25. Any high-volume move above $3.25 will then give OPXA a chance to trade north of $4.

Affymax

Affymax (AFFY) is a biopharmaceutical company committed to developing novel drugs to improve the treatment of serious and often life-threatening conditions. This stock closed up 5.1% to $3.06 on Thursday.

Thursday's Range: $2.90-$3.39

52-Week Range: $2.26-$27.74

Volume: 14.99 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 4.34 million

From a technical perspective, AFFY bounced higher here right above some near-term support at $2.86 with heavy upside volume. Shares of AFFY have been consolidating for the last few trading sessions, with the stock trading just above and below $3 a share. That action now has AFFY trending within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit if AFFY manages to take out $4 to $4.10 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in AFFY if it manages to break out above $4 to $4.10 with strong upside volume flows. Look for a sustained move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above its three-month average action of 4.34 million shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then AFFY will set up to trade into its previous gap down zone from last month that started near $16. Some possible upside targets if we get into that gap with volume are $6 to $8.

Acasti Pharma

Acasti Pharma (ACST) is engaged in the research, development and commercialization of proprietary active pharmaceutical ingredients, primarily applied in the management of cardio metabolic disorders. This stock closed up 5.6% to $2.40 on Thursday.

Thursday's Range: $2.25-$2.49

52-Week Range: $1.61-$3.99

Volume: 118,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 28,337

From a technical perspective, ACST bounced higher here right off its 200-day moving average at $2.23 with above-average volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of ACST within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if ACST manages to take out its 50-day moving average at $2.45 and then once it clears more overhead resistance at $2.60 to $2.66 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in ACST as long as it’s trending above its 200-day at $2.23 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 28,337 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then ACST will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance level $2.99. Any high-volume move above $2.99 will then put $3.99 into range for shares of ACST.

StemCells

StemCells (STEM) is engaged in the research, development and commercialization of stem cell therapeutics. This stock closed up 1.1% to $1.82 on Thursday.

Thursday's Range: $1.78-$1.85

52-Week Range: $0.59-$2.67

Volume: 254,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 556,110

From a technical perspective, STEM bounced modestly higher here right off its 50-day moving average of $1.76 with lighter-than-average volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of STEM within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if STEM manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $1.84 to $1.88 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in STEM as long as it’s trending above its 50-day at $1.76 or some key near-term support at $1.70 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 556,110 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then STEM will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $1.99 to $2.13. Any high-volume move above $2.13 will then put $2.50 into range for shares of STEM.

To see more stocks that are making notable moves higher today, check out the Stocks Under $10 Moving Higher 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.