Stock Quotes in this Article: IDXX, VRTU, YPF, CEMP

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.

Cempra

Cempra (CEMP) is a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company which is developing antibiotics to meet critical unmet medical needs in the treatment of bacterial infectious diseases. This stock closed up 3.6% to $13.50 in Monday's trading session.

Monday's Volume: 387,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 162,828

Volume % Change: 125%

From a technical perspective, CEMP spiked higher here into new all-time high territory with above-average volume. This stock has been uptrending strong for the last six months, with shares moving higher from its low of $6.95 to its intraday high of $13.63. During that uptrend, shares of CEMP have been making mostly higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. Market players should now look for a continuation move higher in the short-term if CEMP can manage to clear Monday's high of $13.63 with strong volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in CEMP as long as it's trending above some near-term support at $12.50 and then once it sustains a move or close above Monday's high of $13.63 with volume that hits near or above 162,828 shares. If we get that move soon, then CEMP will set up to enter new all-time high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that move are $17 to $18.

Virtusa

Virtusa (VRTU) is an information technology services company. This stock closed up 5.8% at $36.47 in Monday's trading session.

Monday's Volume: 260,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 107,541

Volume % Change: 171%

From a technical perspective, VRTU spiked sharply higher here right above some near-term support at $34.03 with above-average volume. This stock has been trending sideways for the last month and change, with shares moving between $33.55 on the downside and $36.80 on the upside. Shares of VRTU are now quickly moving within range of triggering a major breakout trade above the upper-end of its recent sideways trading chart pattern. That breakout will hit if VRTU manages to take out Monday's high of $36.53 to its 52-week high at $36.80 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in VRTU as long as it's trending above Monday's low of $34.47 to more near-term support at $33.55, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that's near or above 107,541 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then VRTU will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $40 to $45.

YPF Sociedad Anonima

YPF Sociedad Anonima (YPF) is an integrated oil and gas company. This stock closed up 8.3% at $31.66 in Monday's trading session.

Monday's Volume: 3.17 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 949,836

Volume % Change: 272%

From a technical perspective, YPF gapped sharply higher here and broke out into new 52-week high territory with heavy upside volume. This stock has been uptrending strong for the last six months, with shares moving higher from its low of $13.63 to its intraday high of $31.99. During that uptrend, shares of YPF have been making mostly higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. Market players should now look for a continuation move higher in the short-term for shares of YPF if this stock manages to take out Monday's high of $31.99 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in YPF as long as it's trending above Monday's low of $30.51 and then once it sustains a move or close above $31.99 with volume that's near or above 949,836 shares. If we get that move soon, then YPF 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 $35 to $40.

Idexx Laboratories

Idexx Laboratories (IDXX) develops, manufactures and distributes products and provides services for the veterinary, bioresearch, livestock and poultry, water and dairy markets. This stock closed up 1.1% at $103.40 in Monday's trading session.

Monday's Volume: 982,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 309,045

Volume % Change: 143%

From a technical perspective, IDXX spiked modestly higher here right above some near-term support at $101.33 with above-average volume. This stock has been downtrending for the last month and change, with shares moving lower from its high of $113.11 to its recent low of $101.33. During that downtrend, shares of IDXX have been consistently making lower highs and lower lows, which is bearish technical price action. That said, the downside volatility for IDXX now looks to be over in the short-term, and the stock could be ready to for a tradable spike higher.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in IDXX as long as it's trending above Monday's low of $102.69 or above more near-term support at $101.33 and then once it sustains a move or close above Monday's high of $104.79 to its 50-day moving average of $105.48 with volume that's near or above 309,045 shares. If we get that move soon, then IDXX will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $108.82 to $110. Any high-volume move above those levels will then give IDXX a chance to re-test or possibly take out its 52-week high at $113.11.

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.