Stock Quotes in this Article: OSUR, PNR, QCOR, TSLA

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.

 

Pentair

Pentair (PNR) is an industrial manufacturing company that provides water pumps, filters, systems and solutions as well as enclosures and thermal management systems. This stock is trading up 2.5% at $44.50 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 3.3 million

Average Volume: 1.1 million

Volume % Change: 445%

Shares of PNR are moving modestly higher today after the company announced a $400 million stock repurchase program, and it said it will pay a cash dividend of 22 cents per share on Nov. 9 to shareholders of record on Oct. 26.

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From a technical perspective, PNR is bouncing higher here right off its 50-day moving average of $43.03 with above-average volume. This move is quickly pushing the stock within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit once PNR manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance at $44.47 to $45.21 with high volume. At last check, PNR has hit an intraday high of $44.73 and volume is well above its three-month average action of 1.1 million shares.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in PNR as long as it’s trending above its 50-day at $43.03, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that’s near or above 1.1 million shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then PNR will have a great chance to re-test or possibly take out its next significant overhead resistance level at $48.27.

OraSure Technologies

OraSure Technologies (OSUR) is engaged in the development, manufacture, marketing and sale of oral fluid diagnostic products and specimen collection devices using its proprietary oral fluid technologies. This stock is trading up 4.5% at $11.20 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 867,000

Average Volume: 828,681

Volume % Change: 100%

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From a technical perspective, OSUR is gapping up sharply higher here with above-average volume. This move has started to push OSUR into breakout territory, since the stock has started to flirt with some near-term overhead resistance at $11.37. At last check, OSUR has hit an intraday high of $11.43 but it’s subsequently pulled back to around $11.20.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in OSUR as long as it’s trending above $11.37 to $11.43 with strong upside volume flows. I would consider any upside volume day that registers near or above 828,681 shares as bullish. If OSUR can maintain that trend, then this stock has a great chance of re-testing or possibly taking out its next major overhead resistance levels at $12.50 to $14.

Tesla Motors

Tesla Motors (TSLA) designs, develops, manufactures and sells electric vehicles and advanced electric vehicle powertrain components. This stock is trading up 3.6% at $29.57 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 2.3 million

Average Volume: 1.4 million

Volume % Change: 158%

Shares of TSLA are spiking higher today after the company priced its secondary offering of 6.9 million shares at $28.25 a share.

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From a technical perspective, TSLA is trending up here back above its 50-day moving average of $29.17 with above-average volume. This move is quickly pushing TSLA within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit once TSLA manages to clear its 200-day moving average at $30.93, and then take out some more overhead resistance at $32.78 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased traders in TSLA as long as its trending above its 50-day, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that’s near or above 1.4 million shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then look for TSLA to possibly re-test or take out its next significant overhead resistance level at $36.

Questcor Pharmaceuticals

Questcor Pharmaceuticals (QCOR), a biopharmaceutical company, provides prescription drugs for the treatment of multiple sclerosis, nephrotic syndrome, and infantile spasms indications. This stock is trading up 4.7% at $18.66 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 5.7 million

Average Volume: 5 million

Volume % Change: 91%

Shares of QCOR are trending higher today after the company initiated a quarterly cash dividend of 20 cents per share, and it increased its common stock repurchase program to 7 million shares.

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From a technical perspective, QCOR is bouncing strongly here with above-average volume. This bounce is coming off extremely oversold conditions, since QCOR’s relative strength index is currently at 23. Oversold can always get more oversold, but this stock has been annihilated the bears during the last few weeks, with shares plunging from over $52 to its recent low of $17.25.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in QCOR as long as it’s trending above $17.25, and then once it triggers its next major breakout trade. Look for a sustained move or close above some near-term overhead resistance levels at $20.48 to $22.50 with volume that’s near or above 5,034,740 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then QCOR could easily fill its previous gap back towards $30 to $33.

Keep in mind that in order for that gap to get filled, QCOR will need to see some very large upside volume move in soon.

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.