Stock Quotes in this Article: BECN, P, BITA, MZOR

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.

Mazor Robotics

Mazor Robotics (MZOR) develops and markets surgical robots and complementing products for patients, surgeons, and OR staff. This stock closed up 6.9% to $18.99 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 319,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 84,827

Volume % Change: 283%

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From a technical perspective, MZOR soared higher here with heavy upside volume. This move pushed shares of MZOR into breakout and new all-time high territory, since the stock took out its previous high at $17.99. This stock has been uptrending strong for the last three months, with shares moving higher from its low of $11.67 to its intraday high of $19.48. During that move, shares of MZOR have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in MZOR as long as it's trending above Wednesday's low of $17.81 or above $17 and then once it sustains a move or close above its new all-time high at $19.48 with volume that hits near or above 84,827 shares. If we get that move soon, then MZOR will set up to enter new all-time-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $23 to $25.

Beacon Roofing Supply

Beacon Roofing Supply (BECN) is a distributor of residential and non-residential roofing materials in the U.S. and Canada. This stock closed up 1.8% at $34.89 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 1.45 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 469,545

Volume % Change: 186%

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From a technical perspective, BECN trended modestly higher here right above its recent low of $32.97 with above-average volume. This stock recently gapped down sharply from $37 to that low of $32.97 with heavy downside volume. Shares of BECN have now started to rebound off that low and move within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if BECN manages to take out its gap down day high of $35.34 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in BECN as long as it's trending above Wednesday's low of $33.82 or above that gap low of $32.97 and then once it sustains a move or close above $35.34 with volume that's near or above 469,545 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then BECN will set up to re-fill some of its previous gap down zone that started at $37. Any high-volume move above $37.50 to its 200-day at $37.78 will then give BECN a chance to tag $39 to $40.

Bitauto

Bitauto (BITA) is a provider of Internet content and marketing services for China's automotive industry. This stock closed up 7% at $19.22 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 1.38 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 369,677

Volume % Change: 376%

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From a technical perspective, BITA soared sharply higher here into new all-time high territory with monster upside volume. This stock has been uptrending strong for the last month and change, with shares moving higher from its low of $12.85 to its intraday high of $19.60. During that uptrend, shares of BITA have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in BITA as long as it's trending above Wednesday's low of $17.67 or above $17 and then once it sustains a move or close above its new all-time high at $19.60 with volume that's near or above 369,677 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then BITA will set up to enter new all-time-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that move are $25 to $27.

Pandora Media

Pandora Media (P) provides internet radio services in USA. It has 175 million registered users. This stock closed up 5.3% at $26.89 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 20 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 9.58 million

Volume % Change: 250%

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From a technical perspective, P ripped sharply higher here right off some near-term support at $25 with monster upside volume. This move pushed shares of P into breakout territory, since the stock took out some near-term overhead resistance at $25.85. Shares of P are now quickly moving within range of triggering another big breakout trade. That trade will hit if P manages to take out its all-time high at $27.50 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in P as long as it's trending above $25 and then once it sustains a move or close above $27.50 with volume that's near or above 9.58 million shares. If that breakout hits soon, then P will set up to enter new all-time high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $30 to $33.

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.