Stock Quotes in this Article: CECE, ICLR, MGAM, INSY

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.

Icon

Icon (ICLR) is a contract research organization that provides outsourced development services to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device industries. This stock closed up 4.4% at $39.58 in Friday's trading session.

Friday's Volume: 686,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 352,864

Volume % Change: 85%

From a technical perspective, ICLR spiked sharply higher here with above-average volume. This stock has been downtrending over the last month and change, with shares dropping from its high of $44.23 to its recent low of $36.42. During that move, shares of ICLR have been consistently making lower highs and lower lows, which is bearish technical price action. That said, the downside volatility for ICLR now looks over in the short-term since the stock has come off that low with volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in ICLR as long as it's trending above Friday's low of $37.97 and then once it sustains a move or close above Friday's high of $39.87 to some more near-term overhead resistance at $41.44 with volume that hits near or above 352,864 shares. If we get that move soon, then ICLR will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $43 to its 52-week high at $44.23.

Multimedia Games

Multimedia Games (MGAM), together with its subsidiaries, designs, manufactures, and distributes gaming machines, video lottery terminals and associated systems and equipment in North America and internationally. This stock closed up 6% at $29.59 in Friday's trading session.

Friday's Volume: 680,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 451,669

Volume % Change: 80%

From a technical perspective, MGAM ripped higher here right above some near-term support at $27.80 and back above its 200-day moving average of $28.44 with above-average volume. This stock has been downtrending badly for the last three months, with shares falling from its high of $40.15 to its recent low of $26.63. During that downtrend, shares of MGAM have been consistently making lower highs and lower lows, which is bearish technical price action. That said, the downside volatility for MGAM could now be over in the short-term, since the stock found some high-volume buyers on Friday.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in MGAM as long as it's trending above Friday's low of $28.09 or above more near-term support at $27.80 and then once it sustains a move or close above Friday's high of $29.83 with volume that's near or above 451,669 shares. If we get that move soon, then MGAM will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at its 50-day moving average of $31.60 to $33, or even $34.

CECO Environment

CECO Environment (CECE) provides an array of solutions for industrial ventilation and air quality problems through dust, mist and fume control systems and particle and chemical technologies to industrial and commercial customers. This stock closed up 4.9% at $15.89 in Friday's trading session.

Friday's Volume: 429,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 168,328

Volume % Change: 215%

From a technical perspective, CECE spiked sharply higher here right above some near-term support at $15 with strong upside volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of CECE within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if CECE manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance at $16.12 to its 50-day moving average of $16.18 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in CECE as long as it's trending above Friday's low of $15.18 or above $15 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that's near or above 168,328 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then CECE will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $18.35 to $18.74, or even its 52-week high at $19.42.

Insys Therapeutics

Insys Therapeutics (INSY) is a specialty pharmaceutical company that develops and commercializes supportive care products that target the unmet needs of cancer patients, with an initial focus on cancer-supportive care. This stock closed up 4.2% at $47.24 in Friday's trading session.

Friday's Volume: 396,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 261,881

Volume % Change: 175%

From a technical perspective, INSY spiked sharply higher here with above-average volume. This stock has been uptrending for the last few weeks, with shares moving higher from its low of $39.50 to its intraday high on Friday of $48. During that move, shares of INSY have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now pushed shares of INSY within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit if INSY manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance at$48 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in INSY as long as it's trending above Friday's low of $45.50 or above $44 and then once it sustains a move or close above $48 with volume that's near or above 261,881 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then INSY will set up to re-test or possibly take out its 52-week high at $53.64. Any high-volume move above $53.64 will then give INSY a chance to tag $60.

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.