Stock Quotes in this Article: AFFY, ANV, OSUR, STZ

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.

Allied Nevada Gold

Allied Nevada Gold (ANV) is a U.S.-based gold producer focused on mining, development and exploration properties in the state of Nevada. This stock is trading up 2.2% at $38.52 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 794,000

Average Volume: 718,058

Volume % Change: 115%

From a technical perspective, ANV is bouncing modestly to the upside here with above-average volume. This move is quickly pushing ANV within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit once ANV manages to take out some key overhead resistance levels at $40.50 to $40.95 with high volume.

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Traders should now look for long-biased trades in ANV as long as it’s trending above today’s low of $37.51, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 718,058 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then ANV will have a great chance of re-testing or possibly taking out its next major overhead resistance levels at $45.90.

As of the most recently reported period, ANV was one of Seth Klarman's Baupost Group holdings.

Constellation Brands

Constellation Brands (STZ) is a wine company. The company is a marketer of imported beer in the U.S. This stock is trading up 2% at $35.51 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 4.2 million

Average Volume: 2.7 million

Volume % Change: 141%

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From a technical perspective, STZ is moving notably higher here with monster volume. This move is quickly pushing STZ within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit once STZ manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance at $36.50 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in STZ as long as it’s trending above $34, and then once it sustains a move or close above $36.50 with volume that hits near or above 2.7 million shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then look for STZ to trend north of $40 in the near future.

OraSure Technologies

OraSure Technologies (OSUR) develops, manufactures, markets and sells oral fluid diagnostic products and specimen collection devices in the U.S. and internationally. This stock is trading up 3.9% at $10.61 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 588,000

Average Volume: 710,794

Volume % Change: 102%

Shares of OSUR are trending to the upside today after the company launched sales of the first home HIV test of its kind to be approved by federal regulators.

From a technical perspective, OSUR is bouncing higher here right off its 200-day moving average of $10.59 with decent volume. This move is quickly pushing OSUR within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit once OSUR manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $11 to $11.43 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in OSUR as long as it’s trending above its 50-day at $10.39, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 710,794 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then OSUR will setup to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $12.50 to $14.

Affymax

Affymax (AFFY) is a biopharmaceutical company engaged in developing drugs to improve the treatment of serious and often life-threatening conditions. This stock is trading up 4.7% at $24.90 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 1.1 million

Average Volume: 922,672

Volume % Change: 106%

From a technical perspective, AFFY is ripping higher here with above-average volume. This move is coming after AFFY recently broke out above some near-term overhead resistance at $22 with high volume. This action is also starting to push AFFY into overbought territory, since the stock has a relative strength index reading of 81. Overbought can always get more overbought, so traders should continue to look for more upside in AFFY.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in AFFY as long as its trending above today’s low of $23.59 with strong upside volume flows. I would consider any upside volume day that registers near or above 922,672 shares as bullish. If AFFY can maintain that trend, then this stock will setup to trade north of $30 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 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.