Stock Quotes in this Article: CSTR, HMSY, SPNC, TSRA

MADISON, 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.

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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Tessera Technologies

Tessera Technologies (TSRA), through its subsidiaries, develops, licenses and delivers miniaturization techologies and products for electronic devices worldwide. This stock is trading up 2.3% at $19.24 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 596,000

Average Volume: 318,418

Volume % Change: 182%

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From a technical perspective, TSRA is trending higher here right above its 50-day moving average at $18.36 with above-average volume. This stock has been uptrending strong for the last six months, with shares moving higher from its low of $13.50 to its recent high of $20.01. During that uptrend, shares of TSRA have been mostly making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now pushed TSRA within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit if TSRA manages to take out some key overhead resistance levels at $20.01 to $20.23 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in TSRA as long as it’s trending above today’s low of $19.12 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 318,418 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then TSRA will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance level at $22.50.

Spectranetics

Spectranetics (SPNC) develops, manufactures, markets and distributes single-use medical devices used in minimally invasive procedures within the cardiovascular system. This stock is trading up 3% at $18.85 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 1.88 million

Average Volume: 181,521

Volume % Change: 1,302%

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From a technical perspective, SPNC is gapping higher here back above its 50-day moving average of $18.40 with monster upside volume. This move is coming after shares of SPNC dipped sharply a few trading sessions ago from its high of $19.70 to $16.79. This stock is now quickly moving within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit if SPNC manages to clear some near-term overhead resistance levels at $19.70 to $19.73 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in SPNC as long as it’s trending above its 50-day at $18.40 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 181,521 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then SPNC will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $22 to $23.

Coinstar

Coinstar (CSTR) is a provider of automated retail solutions offering convenient products and services that benefit consumers and drive incremental retail traffic and revenue for retailers. This stock is trading up 1.4% to $55.84 in recent trading.

 

Today’s Volume: 2.13 million

Average Volume: 941,771

Volume % Change: 275%

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From a technical perspective, CSTR is trending higher here right above its 50-day moving average at $55.11 with heavy upside volume. This stock briefly broke out above some near-term overhead resistance at $59.31, but it has since then pulled back to its current price near $56. At last check, CSTR has hit an intraday high of $59.48, and volume is well above its three-month average action of 941,771 shares.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in CSTR as long as it’s trending above its 50-day at $55.11 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels $59.31 to $59.48 with volume that hits near or above 941,771 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then CSTR will set up to trend higher towards $65 to $67.50.

HMS Holdings

HMS Holdings (HMSY) provides health care cost-containment and payment-accuracy services to government-sponsored health programs in the U.S. This stock is trading up 4.6% at $24.82 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 1.97 million

Average Volume: 812,905

Volume % Change: 221%

From a technical perspective, HMSY is ripping higher here after it broke below some key near-term support at $23.09 and then reversed with above-average volume. This stock has been downtrending badly for the last two months with shares moving lower from its high of $31.93 to its intraday low of $22.23. During that move, shares of HMSY have been consistently making lower highs and lower lows, which is bearish technical price action. That said, shares of HMSY are now rebounding with heavy upside volume and the stock could be ready to reverse its recent downtrend.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in HMSY as long as it’s trending above $24 and then once it sustains a move or close above $25 with volume that hits near or above 812,905 shares. If we get that move soon, then HMSY will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at its 50-day of $27.59 or its 200-day at $28.65.

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

-- Written by Roberto Pedone in Madison, Wis.

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

Roberto Pedone, based out of Madison, 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.