Stock Quotes in this Article: CPSI, MCRS, NTAP, SOHU

WINDERMERE, Fla. (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. Many times when above average volume moves into 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.

 

 

Computer Programs & Systems

Computer Programs & Systems (CPSI) is a health care information technology company that designs, develops, markets, installs and supports computerized information technology systems. This stock is trading up 5.6% at $49.45 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 141,000

Average Volume: 78,392

Volume % Change: 206%

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Shares of CPSI are ripping higher today after UBS AG initiated coverage on the stock with a buy rating and a $61 price target.

From a technical perspective, CPSI is moving sharply higher here with above average volume. This move is quickly pushing CPSI within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit once CPSI takes out some near-term overhead resistance at $50.68, and above its 50-day moving average of $51.06 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades once CPSI sustains a move or close above those levels with volume that’s near or above 78,392 shares. Keep in mind that you can also look to get long CPSI off weakness as long as it holds today’s low of $47.06. If that breakout triggers soon, then CPSI will have a great chance of re-testing or possibly taking out its 200-day moving average of $53.02.

Sohu.com

Sohu.com (SOHU) is a Chinese online media, search, gaming, community and mobile service group. The company operates matrices of Chinese language Web properties, and it operates multi-player online games and Web-based games in the People’s Republic of China. This stock is trading up 3.3% at $43.24 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 1.7 million

Average Volume: 769,633

Volume % Change: 245%

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Shares of SOHU are trending up today after Citron Research said with the recent move in the share price of Qihoo 360 (QIHU) on the announcement that they are entering the search business, Sohu.com is now in play.

From a technical perspective, SOHU is moving up here with above average volume, and it’s starting to flirt with some key near-term breakout levels. At last check, SOHU has taken out some near-term resistance at $42.81 and it’s moving within range of more overheard resistance at $44.99.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades if SOHU can manage to break out above $42.81 to $44.99 with high volume. Look for a sustained move or close above those levels with volume that’s near or above 769,633 shares. Keep in mind that you could also get long off weakness and anticipate that breakout, as long as $41.50 holds up. If that breakout triggers soon, then SOHU will have a great chance of re-testing and possibly taking out its next major overhead resistance levels at $47.31 to $48.11.

Micros Systems

Micros Systems (MCRS) is a designer, manufacturer, marketer and servicer of enterprise information solutions for the global hospitality and retail industries. This stock is trading up 8.5% at $52.35 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 1.05 million

Average Volume: 433,542

Volume % Change: 289%

Shares of MCRS are skyrocketing today after the company reported better-than-expected earnings and raised its 2013 revenue guidance.

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From a technical perspective, MCRS is gapping up big here back above both its 50-day and 200-day moving averages with high volume. This move is quickly pushing MCRS within range of triggering another breakout trade. That trade will hit once MCRS takes out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $53.39 to $55.36 with high volume.

Traders should now look for a long-biased trade as long as MCRS is trending above its 200-day, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that’s near or above 433,542 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then MCRS will have a great chance of re-testing and possibly taking out its next major overhead resistance levels $57 to $58.49.

On the flipside, I would avoid MCRS or look for short-biased traders if fails to trigger that breakout, and then moves back below its 200-day at $50.86 with high volume.

NetApp

NetApp (NTAP) is a provider of storage and data management solutions. NetApp has a portfolio of application, virtualization, cloud, and service provider solutions. This stock is trading up 3.3% at $34.53 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 5.9 million

Average Volume: 8.1 million

Volume % Change: 50%

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From a technical perspective, NTAP is moving to the upside here with decent volume. This move is quickly pushing NTAP within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will trigger once NTAP clears some near-term overhead resistance levels at $34.19 and its 200-day moving average of $36.48 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades once NTAP sustains a move or close above those levels with volume that’s near or above 8,100,030 shares. At last check, NTAP has hit an intraday high of $34.54 and volume is about 2 million below its three-month average action of 8.1 million shares. Keep in mind you can buy NTAP off weakness and anticipate that breakout, as long as some near-term support at $32.93 to $32.50 holds. If that breakout triggers soon, then NTAP will have a great chance of re-testing or possibly taking out its next major overhead resistance levels at $38 to $41.05.

To see more stocks rising on unusual volume, check out the Stocks Rising On Unusual Volume portfolio on Stockpickr.

-- Written by Roberto Pedone in Winderemere, Fla.

 

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At the time of publication, author had no positions in stocks mentioned.

Roberto Pedone, based out of Windermere, Fla., is an independent trader who focuses on stocks, options, futures, commodities and currencies. He is also an outside contributor to Beconequity.com and maintains the website Maddmoney.net, which he sold to Blue Wave Advisors in 2008. Roberto studied International Business at The Milwaukee School of Engineering, and he spent a year overseas studying business in Lubeck, Germany.