Stock Quotes in this Article: BDSI, KLAC, MFRM, MBUU

DELAFIELD, Wis. (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.

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

Mattress Firm

Mattress Firm (MFRM), through its subsidiaries, operates as a specialty retailer of mattresses, and related products and accessories in the U.S. This stock closed up 3.7% at $48.07 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 326,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 216,873

Volume % Change: 50%

From a technical perspective, MFRM bounced notably higher here right above its 50-day moving average of $46.09 with above-average volume. This spike higher on Wednesday is starting to push shares of MFRM within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit if MFRM manages to take out Wednesday's intraday high of $48.18 and then once it clears its all-time high of $50.34 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in MFRM as long as it's trending above some key near-term support levels at $46 to $45.93 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that's near or above 216,873 shares. If that breakout gets started soon, then MFRM will set up to enter new all-time-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $55 to $60.

BioDelivery Sciences

BioDelivery Sciences (BDSI), a specialty pharmaceutical company, develops and commercializes therapeutics in the areas of pain management and oncology supportive care. This stock closed up 8.4% at $13.94 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 2.20 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 873,124

Volume % Change: 132%

From a technical perspective, BDSI ripped sharply higher here right above some near-term support at $12.50 with heavy upside volume flows. This stock recently gapped up sharply higher from under $12 to $14.38 with monster upside volume. Shares of BDSI are now starting to spike higher again and quickly move within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if BDSI manages to take out Wednesday's intraday high of $14.18 to its 52-week high at $14.38 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in BDSI as long as it's trending above Wednesday's intraday low of $12.66 or above $12.50 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that's near or above 873,124 shares. If that breakout gets set off soon, then BDSI will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $17 to $20.

Malibu Boats

Malibu Boats (MBUU) is a designer, manufacturer and marketer of sport boats. This stock closed up 8.5% at $19.22 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 186,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 84,710

Volume % Change: 125%

From a technical perspective, MBUU soared sharply higher here right above some near-term support at $17.14 with above-average volume. This stock recently ran into tough resistance over the last two months at around $21.50 to $21. Sellers controlled the stock at those levels and shares of MBUU subsequently sold off to its recent low of $17.14. This sharp spike higher on Wednesday is now starting to push shares of MBUU within range of triggering a big breakout trade above some key overhead resistance levels. That trade will hit if MBUU manages to take out its 50-day moving average of $19.86 and then once it clears those key resistance levels at $21 to $21.50 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in MBUU as long as it's trending above Wednesday's intraday low of $17.65 or above that recent low of $17.14 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that's near or above 84,710 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then MBUU will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $23 to $24. Any high-volume move above those levels will then give MBUU a chance to re-test or possibly take out its all-time high of $24.90.

KLA-Tencor

KLA-Tencor (KLAC) engages in the design, manufacture and marketing of process control and yield management solutions for the semiconductor and related nanoelectronics industries worldwide. This stock closed up 1% at $74.86 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 2.93 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 1.46 million

Volume % Change: 109%

From a technical perspective, KLAC jumped modestly higher here right above some near-term support at $72.91 with above-average volume. This stock has been uptrending very strong for the last two months, with shares soaring higher from its low of $61.43 to its recent high of $75.07. During that uptrend, shares of KLAC have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now pushed shares of KLAC within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if KLAC manages to take out its 52-week high of $75.07 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in KLAC as long as it's trending above some near-term support levels at $72.91 or above $72 and then once it sustains a move or close above $75.07 with volume that's near or above 1.46 million shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then KLAC will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $80 to $85.

To see more stocks rising on unusual volume, check out the Stocks Rising on Unusual Volume portfolio on Stockpickr.

-- Written by Roberto Pedone in Delafield, Wis.


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

Roberto Pedone, based out of Delafield, Wis., 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.