Stock Quotes in this Article: ALR, BRLI, ESC, NVDQ

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.

Alere

Alere (ALR) is engaged in developing capabilities in near-patient diagnosis, monitoring and health management. This stock is trading up 8.1% at $20.97 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 1.7 million

Average Volume: 558,288

Volume % Change: 422%

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From a technical perspective, ALR is bouncing hard here right off some near-term support at $19.15 with massive upside volume. This move is quickly pushing ALR within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit once ALR takes out its 200-day moving average of $21.53, and then once it clears some more past resistance at $22.68 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in ALR as long as it’s trending above $19.15, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 558,288 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then look for ALR to possibly re-test or take out its next major overhead resistance level at $26.50.

Novadaq Technologies

Novadaq Technologies (NVDQ) develops and markets medical imaging and treatment systems for use in the operating room. This stock is trading up 8.8% at $11.39 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 170,000

Average Volume: 101,255

Volume % Change: 215%

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From a technical perspective, NVDQ is skyrocketing here off some near-term support at $10.50 with above-average volume. This move today is capping off a run for NVDQ over the last three months from $5.27 to its intraday high of $10.70. This move has also now pushed NVDQ into extremely overbought territory, since its relative strength index is now 89.

Overbought can always get mover overbought, so traders should continue to look for long-biased trades in NVDQ as long as its trending above today’s low of $10.42 with strong upside volume flows. I would consider any upside volume day that registers near or above its three-month average action of 101,255 shares as bullish. If we continue to see NVDQ maintain that trend, then look for the stock to trade well north of $12 in the near future.

Emeritus

Emeritus (ESC) owns and operates a portfolio of communities providing services to its residents, including independent living, assisted living, specialized memory care, and, to a lesser extent, skilled nursing care. This stock is trading up 7.5% at $22.64 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 985,000

Average Volume: 124,480

Volume % Change: 1415%

Shares of ESC are ripping to the upside today after Deutsche Bank started coverage on the stock with a buy rating.
From a technical perspective, ESC is bouncing strong here right off some near-term support at $21 with monster upside volume. This move has started to push ESC into breakout territory, since the stock has moved above some near-term overhead resistance at $21.99.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in ESC once it manages to trigger its next major breakout trade. That trade will hit once ESC clears some past overhead resistance at $22.88 with high volume. Look for a sustained move or close above $22.88 with volume that hits near or above 124,480 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then look for ESC to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $24 to $26.

Bio-Reference Laboratories

Bio-Reference Laboratories (BRLI) is engaged in providing laboratory testing services to customers in the greater New York metropolitan area, as well as to customers in other states. This stock is trading up 3.3% at $30.80 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 281,000

Average Volume: 234,122

Volume % Change: 160%

From a technical perspective, BRLI is moving notably higher here with above-average volume. This move has started to push BRLI into breakout territory, since it’s taken out some past overhead resistance at $30.15. At last check, BRLI has hit an intraday high of $31 and volume is well above its three-month average action of 234,122 shares.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in BRLI as long as it’s trending above today’s low of $29.84, and then once it sustains a move or close above $30.15 with volume that’s near or above 234,122 shares. If we continue to see BRLI maintain that trend, then this stock has an excellent chance to tag $35 to $40 in the near future.

Keep in mind that BRLI is now trading in new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action.

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 stocks, options, futures, commodities and currencies. He is also an outside contributor to Beconequity.com and maintains the website Maddmoney.net, which he sold to Blue Wave Advisors in 2008. Roberto studied International Business at The Milwaukee School of Engineering, and he spent a year overseas studying business in Lubeck, Germany.