Stock Quotes in this Article: BRKR, MGLN, RIG, VVUS

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.

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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.

With that in mind, let's take a look at several stocks rising on unusual volume today.

Magellan Health Services

Magellan (MGLN) is engaged in the specialty managed healthcare business. The company provides services to health plans, insurance companies, employers, labor unions and various governmental agencies. This stock is trading up 1.4% at $49.76 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 247,000

Average Volume: 175,176

Volume % Change: 160%

From a technical perspective, MGLN is spiking modestly higher here with above-average volume. This move has started to push MGLN within range of its 50-day moving average of $50.01, and within range of a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit once MGLN manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $51.80 to $52.46 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in MGLN once it manages to sustain a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 175,176 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then look for MGLN to set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $56 to $56.58.

Transocean

Transocean (RIG) is an international provider of offshore contract drilling services for
oil and gas wells. This stock is trading up 4.2% at $48.01 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 4.90 million

Average Volume: 3.47 million

Volume % Change: 154%

From a technical perspective, RIG is gapping up sharply higher here right through both its 50-day at $46.79 and its 200-day at $47.77 with above-average volume. This move is quickly pushing RIG within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit once RIG manages to clear some near-term overhead resistance levels at $49 to $50.38 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in RIG as long as it's trending above its 200-day at $47.77, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 3.47 million shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then RIG will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $52.25 to $56.36 in the near future.

Vivus

Vivus (VVUS) is a biopharmaceutical company engaged in the development and commercialization of therapeutic products for large underserved markets. This stock is trading up 2.3% at $14.66 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 3.72 million

Average Volume: 3.00 million

Volume % Change: 140%

From a technical perspective, VVUS is moving notably higher here with above-average volume. This small bounce is coming after VVUS recently plunged during the last few weeks from $23.59 to a $13.50. That sharp move lower has now pushed shares of VVUS into oversold territory, since the stock sports a relative strength index (RSI) of 25.85. Oversold can always get more oversold, but it's also an area to watch for explosive bounces. Shares of VVUS are now trending within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit once VVUS takes out some near-term overhead resistance at $15.40.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in VVUS as long as it's trending above today's low of $13.50, and then once it sustains a move or close above $15.40 with volume that hits near or above 3 million shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then VVUS could bounce sharply back towards its 50-day moving average of $20.44 or possibly even higher.

Bruker

Bruker (BRKR) is engaged in designing, manufacturing, marketing and servicing proprietary life science and materials research systems based on its core technology platforms. This stock is trading up 10% at $13.92 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 954,000

Average Volume: 691,806

Volume % Change: 132%

Shares of BRKR are soaring today after the company said its third quarter net income doubled, helped by easy comparisons to a prior-year period weighed down by more than twice as much in one-time charges.

From a technical perspective, BRKR is gapping sharply higher here right off its 50-day at $12.65 and back above its 200-day at $13.96 with above-average volume. This move is quickly pushing BRKR within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit once BRKR takes out some key overhead resistance levels at $13.85 to $14.29 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in BRKR as long as it's trending above today's low of $13.72, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 691,806 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then BRKR will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $15.75 to $17.01.

At the time of publication, author had no positions in stocks mentioned.

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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.