Stock Quotes in this Article: CONN, HOS, ORA, EQM

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 today.

Ormat Technologies

Ormat Technologies (ORA) is engaged in the geothermal and recovered energy power business. It designs, develops, builds, owns and operates clean, environmentally friendly geothermal and recovered energy-based power plants. This stock closed up 3.1% at $25.82 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 202,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 87,139

Volume % Change: 142%

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From a technical perspective, ORA ripped higher here right above some near-term support at $24.50 and above its 50-day moving average of $23.81 with above-average volume. This move pushed shares of ORA into breakout and new 52-week-high territory, since it took out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $25.70 to $25.72.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in ORA as long as it's trending above Wednesday's low of $24.94 or above $24.50, and then once it sustains a move or close above its new 52-week high at $26.05 and some key past resistance at $26.22 with volume that's near or above 87,139 shares. If we get that move soon, then ORA will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that move are its next major overhead resistance levels at $29 to $30.

EQT Midstream Partners LP

EQT Midstream Partners LP (EQM) owns, operates, acquires and develops midstream assets in the Appalachian Basin. It provides natural gas transmission, storage and gathering services. This stock closed up 1.8% at $46.99 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 1.13 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 414,872

Volume % Change: 235%

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From a technical perspective, EQM bounced modestly higher here back above its 50-day moving average of $46.47 with strong upside volume. This stock has been uptrending for the last few weeks, with shares rising from its low of $43.62 to its intraday high of $47.24. During that move, shares of EQM have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in EQM as long as it's trending above some near-term support at $45 or above its 50-day at $46.47 and then once it sustains a move or close above Wednesday's high of $47.24 with volume that hits near or above 414,872 shares. If we get that move soon, then EQM will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $49.20 to $50.45. Any high-volume move above those levels will then put its 52-week high at $51.72 into range for shares of EQM.

Conn's

Conn's (CONN) is a specialty retailer of durable consumer products. It also provides consumer credit to support its customers' purchases of the products that it offers. This stock closed up 5.8% at $66.02 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 581,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 455,100

Volume % Change: 85%

Shares of CONN ripped higher on Wednesday after Canaccord said the company remains a top idea following management's conference presentation. The firm has a buy rating on the stock with a $77-per-share price target.

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From a technical perspective, CONN ripped higher here right off some near-term support at $62.38 with above-average volume. This stock has recently formed a double bottom chart pattern at $61.81 to $62.38. Shares of CONN have now started to bounce off that bottom and it's quickly moving within range of triggering a big breakout trade. That trade will hit if CONN manages to clear Wednesday's high of $66.72 and then once it takes out its 52-week high at $68.73 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in CONN as long as it's trending above those double bottom support levels at $62.38 or $61.81 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that's near or above 455,100 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then CONN will set up to enter new 52-week high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $70 to $73.

Hornbeck Offshore Services

Hornbeck Offshore Services (HOS) is a provider of marine services such as exploration and production, oilfield service, offshore construction and military customers. This stock closed up 1.4% at $56.46 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 563,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 401,034

Volume % Change: 80%

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From a technical perspective, HOS bounced modestly higher here right off its 50-day moving average of $55.78 with above-average volume. This stock has been uptrending strong for the last five months, with shares soaring higher from its low of $39.25 to its recent high of $59.10. During that move, shares of HOS have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now pushed shares of HOS within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if HOS manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $58.16 to its 52-week high at $59.10 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in HOS as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $55.78 or above more support at $55, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that's near or above 401,034 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then HOS will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $65 to $67.

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.