Stock Quotes in this Article: CLF, PCG, QLIK, MPC

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.

 

Qlik Technologies

Qlik Technologies (QLIK) engages in the development, commercialization and implementation of software products and related services for user-driven business intelligence that enables customers to make business decisions primarily in the Americas, Europe, the Asia-Pacific region and Africa. This stock is trading up 6.5% at $20.39 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 1.5 million

Average Volume: 1.85 million

Volume % Change: 69%

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From a technical perspective, QLIK is bouncing hard here right off some previous support at $19 with decent volume. This move is coming off oversold levels since its relative strength index was around 30 coming into today.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in QLIK once it manages to clear its 50-day moving average of $22.22 with high volume. Look for a sustained move or close above $22.22 with volume that registers near or above 1.85 million shares. If QLIK triggers that move soon, then look for this stock to re-test or possibly take out its next significant overhead resistance levels at $25.15 to $25.70.

Marathon Petroleum

Marathon Petroleum (MPC) is a petroleum product refiners, transporters and marketers in the U.S. This stock is trading up 5.2% at $57.74 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 6.1 million

Average Volume: 3 million

Volume % Change: 246%

Shares of MPC are ripping higher today after the company agreed to buy BP PLC’s Texas City refinery and infrastructure assets.

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From a technical perspective, MPC is moving up here with above-average volume, and it’s started to push into breakout territory since it’s taken out some near-term overhead resistance at $56.22.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in MPC as long as it’s trending above that breakout level of $56.48 with strong upside volume flows. I would consider any upside volume day that registers near or above 3 million shares as bullish. If MPC can maintain that trend, then this stock has a great chance of trading north of $60 in the near future.

PG&E

PG&E (PCG), through its subsidiaries, operates as a public utility company in northern and central California. This stock is trading up 2.5% at $43.77 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 2.4 million

Average Volume: 2.1 million

Volume % Change: 96%

From a technical perspective, PCG is bouncing hard here right near its 200-day moving average of $42.47 with above-average volume. This move has also pushed PCG back above its 50-day moving average of $43.52.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in PCG as long as it’s trending above its 50-day with strong upside volume flows. I would consider any upside volume day that registers near or above 2.1 million shares as bullish. If PCG can maintain that trend, then this stock will setup to re-test or possibly take out its next significant overhead resistance levels at $45 to $46.50.

Cliffs Natural Resources

Cliffs Natural Resources (CLF) is an iron ore producer and a producer of metallurgical coal. This stock is trading up 5.6% at $40.53 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 4.85 million

Average Volume: 6.7 million

Volume % Change: 50%

From a technical perspective, CLF is bouncing higher here right around some near-term support at $37.50 with decent volume. This move has also started to push CLF back above its 50-day moving average of $40.26, and it’s pushed the stock above some near-term overhead resistance at $40.35.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in CLF as long as it’s trending above its 50-day with strong upside volume flows. I would consider any upside volume day that registers near or above 6,679,460 shares. If CLF can maintain its trend above its 50-day, and especially above $40.35, then this stock will setup to re-test and possibly take out its next significant overhead resistance levels at $43.44 to $46.83.

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.