Stock Quotes in this Article: LVLT, MBI, OEH, CLVS

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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Clovis Oncology

Clovis Oncology (CLVS) is a biopharmaceutical company focused on acquiring, developing and commercializing innovative anti-cancer agents in the U.S., Europe and additional international markets. This stock closed up 12.4% at $37.11 on Wednesday.

Wednesday's Volume: 495,000

Average Volume: 108,446

Volume % Change: 272%

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From a technical perspective, CLVS soared higher here right off some near-term support at $32.22 with heavy upside volume. This surge in price for CLVS is coming after the stock recently sold off from around $38 to $32.22. Shares of CLVS are now quickly moving within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if CLVS manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance at $38 and then once it clears its 52-week and all-time high at $39.63 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in CLVS as long as it's trending above $35 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 108,446 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then CLVS will set up to enter new all-time high territory above $39.63, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that move are $43 to $45 in the near future.

MBIA

MBIA (MBI) provides financial guarantee insurance, as well as related reinsurance, advisory and portfolio services, for the public and structured finance markets, and asset management advisory services, on a global basis. This stock closed up 7.5% to $15.48 on Wednesday.

Wednesday's Volume: 20.46 million

Average Volume: 5.96 million

Volume % Change: 305%

Shares of MBI ripped higher on Wednesday after The Wall Street Journal reported the company settled a mortgage-bond suit with Societe Generale for $350 million.

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From a technical perspective, MBI ripped higher here right off some near-term support at $14 with monster upside volume. This stock recently made a super spike higher from around $10 to $15.45 with heavy upside volume. Shares of MBI are now starting to enter new 52-week-high territory, since the stock took out some previous resistance at $15.45. At last check, MBI hit an intraday high of $15.75 and volume was well above its three-month average action of 5.96 million shares.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in MBI as long as it's trending above $14 and then once it sustains a move or close above $15.45 to $15.75 with volume that hits near or above 5.96 million shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then MBI will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance level at $20.

Orient-Express Hotels

Orient-Express Hotels (OEH) is a hotel and travel company, which is focused on the luxury end of the leisure market with exposure to both mature and emerging national economies. This stock closed up 8.1% at $11.40 on Wednesday.

Wednesday's Volume: 1.97 million

Average Volume: 562,059

Volume % Change: 256%

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From a technical perspective, OEH gapped sharply higher here right above its 200-day moving average of $10.34 with heavy upside volume. This stock recently formed a double bottom chart pattern at $9.42 to $9.43 and then spiked higher back above its 50-day moving average at $10.01. This gap move has now pushed shares of OEH into breakout territory, since the stock took out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $10.42 to $10.52. Shares of OEH are now quickly moving within range of triggering another major breakout trade. That trade will hit if OEH manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $12 to $12.29 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in OEH as long as it's trending above Wednesday's low of $10.90 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 562,059 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then OEH will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $13.13 to $14.25.

Level 3 Communications

Level 3 Communications (LVLT) is a facilities-based provider of a broad range of integrated communications services. This stock closed up 3.3% to $23.99 on Wednesday.

Wednesday's Volume: 6.56 million

Average Volume: 1.87 million

Volume % Change: 273%

Shares of LVLT soared higher on Wednesday after Keith Meister, managing partner of Corvex Management, discussed the company in a bullish light at the Ira Sohn Investment Conference.

From a technical perspective, LVLT soared higher here and traded into its previous gap-down zone from February with heavy upside volume. That gap was entirely filled, and shares of LVLT are now quickly moving within range of triggering another major breakout trade. That trade will hit if LVLT manages to take out some past overhead resistance levels at $25.26 to $25.62 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in LVLT as long as it's trending above Wednesday's low of $23.02 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 1.87 million shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then LVLT will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $28 to $32.

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.