Stock Quotes in this Article: CNQR, MKTX, NFLX, WX

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.

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WuXi PharmaTech

WuXi PharmaTech (WX) is a pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device R&D outsourcing company, with operations in China and the U.S. This stock is trading up 2.4% at $17.93 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 616,000

Average Volume: 262,915

Volume % Change: 266%

Shares of WX are moving higher here after Oppenheimer said it remains bullish on the company for the next three to five years, and maintains an outperform rating on its shares.

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From a technical perspective, WX is trending higher here right above its 50-day moving average of $16.90 with above-average volume. This move has pushed shares of WX into breakout territory, since the stock has taken out some near-term overhead resistance at $17.50. That move is quickly pushing WX within range of triggering another major breakout trade. That trade will hit if WX manages to clear its 52-week high at $18.79 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in WX as long as it’s trending above $17.50, and then once it sustains a move or close above $18.79 with volume that hits near or above 262,915 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then WX will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that move are $20 to $23.

Concur Technologies

Concur Technologies (CNQR) is a global provider of solutions uniting online travel procurement with automated expense reporting. This stock is trading up 3.5% at $68.11 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 1.09 million

Average Volume: 475,619

Volume % Change: 225%

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From a technical perspective, CNQR is ripping higher here right off some near-term support at $64 with above-average volume. This move has pushed shares of CNQR out of its recent downtrend, and it’s quickly pushing the stock within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if CNQR manages to take out its 50-day and 200-day moving averages at $68.62 and then once it clears $69 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in CNQR as long as it’s trending above $67 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 475,619 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then CNQR will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $72 to $72.50.

Netflix

Netflix (NFLX) is a provider of internet subscription service streaming TV shows and movies. This stock is trading up 3.2% at $178.74 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 4.72 million

Average Volume: 5.57 million

Volume % Change: 50%

Shares of NFLX are trending higher today after BTIG analyst Richard Greenfield initiated coverage on the stock with a buy rating and $250 price target.

From a technical perspective, NFLX is bouncing higher here right off some near-term support at $170 with decent upside volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of NFLX within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if NFLX manages to take out its 50-day moving average of $180.88 with high volume. At last check, NFLX has hit an intraday high of $182.35 and volume is close to surpassing its three-month average action of 5.57 million shares.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in NFLX as long as it’s trending above today’s low of $174.80, and then once it sustains a move or close above its 50-day at $180.88 and its intraday high of $182.35 with volume that hits near or above 5.57 million shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then NFLX will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $190 to $197.

MarketAxess

MarketAxess (MKTX) operates an electronic trading platform for corporate bonds and certain other types of fixed-income instruments. This stock is trading up 1.7% at $39.05 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 433,000

Average Volume: 288,889

Volume % Change: 107%

From a technical perspective, MKTX is bouncing higher here right off its 50-day moving average of $38.49 with above-average volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of MKTX within range of triggering a breakout trade. That trade will hit if MKTX manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance at $40.48 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in MKTX as long as it’s trending above its 50-day at $38.49, and then once it sustains a move or close above $40.48 with volume that hits near or above 288,889 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then MKTX will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $42.50 to $42.61.

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 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.