Stock Quotes in this Article: CLDX, KMP, LGND, SCOR

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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Celldex Therapeutics

Celldex Therapeutics (CLDX) is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of several immunotherapy technologies for the treatment of cancer and other difficult-to-treat diseases. This stock is trading up 5.4% at $13.48 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 2.03 million

Average Volume: 1.62 million

Volume % Change: 196%

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From a technical perspective, CLDX is trending higher here right above its 50-day moving average at $12.27 with above-average volume. This stock has started to enter breakout territory, since it's trading above some near-term overhead resistance at $13.48. That move is quickly pushing shares of CLDX within range of triggering an even bigger breakout trade. That trade will hit if CLDX manages to take out its 52-week high at $14.09 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in CLDX as long as it's trending above $13 or above $13.48 and then once it sustains a move or close above $14.09 with volume that hits near or above 1.62 million shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then CLDX will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets if that breakout hits are $17 to $20.

comScore

comScore (SCOR) provides a digital marketing intelligence platform that helps customers make better-informed business decisions and implement more effective digital business strategies. This stock is trading up 2% at $20.18 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 160,000

Average Volume: 154,738

Volume % Change: 76%

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Shares of SCOR are trending higher today after the company announced a $50 million share repurchase program. The company also announced the launch of Digital Multi-Platform, the next generation of digital enterprise analytics.

From a technical perspective, SCOR is bouncing higher here right above some near-term support at $19.29 with above-average volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of SCOR within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if SCOR manages to take out its 52-week high at $20.76 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in SCOR as long as it's trending above $19.29 or $19, and then once it sustains a move or close above $20.76 with volume that hits near or above 154,738 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then SCOR will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets if that breakout hits are $24 to $26.

Ligand Pharmaceuticals

Ligand Pharmaceuticals (LGND) is a biotechnology company that operates with a business model focused on developing or acquiring assets. This stock is trading up 2.9% at $30.80 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 339,000

Average Volume: 137,080

Volume % Change: 277%

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From a technical perspective, LGND is ripping higher here right above some near-term support at $30 with above-average volume. This move has started to push shares of LGND into breakout territory, since the stock has cleared some previous resistance at $29.92 to $30.74. Shares of LGND have also hit a new 52-week high today at $31.18 and volume is well above its three-month average action of 137,080 shares.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in LGND as long as it's trending above $29.92 with strong upside volume flows. I would consider any upside volume day that registers near or above its three-month average action of 137,080 shares as bullish. If LGND can maintain that trend, then this stock will set up to break out to a new 52-week high above $31.18. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $33 to $35, or even north of $35.

Kinder Morgan Energy Partners

Kinder Morgan Energy Partners (KMP) is a pipeline transportation and energy storage company in North America that owns and manages a portfolio of energy transportation and storage assets. This stock is trading up 1% at $83.98 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 1.02 million

Average Volume: 1.08 million

Volume % Change: 62%

From a technical perspective, KMP is bouncing modestly higher here right above its 200-day moving average at $83.07 with decent upside volume. This stock has been downtrending badly for the last few weeks, with shares dropping from its high of $89.89 to today's low of $83.10. During that drop, shares of KMP have been consistently making lower highs and lower lows, which is bearish technical price action. That said, shares of KMP have now found support at its 200-day, and if that level holds the stock could rebound sharply to the upside.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in KMP as long as it's trending above its 200-day at $83.07 with strong upside volume flows. I would consider any upside volume day that registers near or above its three-month average action of 1.08 million shares as bullish. If KMP can maintain that trend, then this stock could easily rebound towards $86 to its 50-day moving average at $88.07.

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.