Stock Quotes in this Article: AFOP, UIS, VMW, NQ

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.

Alliance Fiber Optic Products

Alliance Fiber Optic Products (AFOP) designs, manufactures and markets a range of fiber optic components, and integrated modules incorporating these components, for communications equipment manufacturers and service providers. This stock closed up 10.7% to $32.21 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 776,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 201,450

Volume % Change: 208%

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From a technical perspective, AFOP skyrocketed higher here right above some near-term support at $28.83 with above-average volume. This stock has been uptrending strong for the last five months, with shares soaring higher from its low of $10.84 to its recent high of $34.77. During that move, shares of AFOP have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That bullish trend has now pushed shares of AFOP within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if AFOP manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $34 to its 52-week high at $34.77 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in AFOP as long as it's trending above some key near-term support levels at $28.83 to $28.50 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 201,450 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then AFOP 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.

Unisys

Unisys (UIS) is an information technology company that provides a portfolio of IT services, software and technology that solves critical problems for clients. This stock closed up 5.7% at $26.40 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 1.76 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 691,038

Volume % Change: 185%

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From a technical perspective, UIS gapped sharply higher here right above some near-term support at $25 with above-average volume. This move sent shares of UIS into new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. This stock also flirted with some major resistance at its two-year of $27.43, before closing at $26.40.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in UIS as long as it's trending above Wednesday's low of $26.08 or above $25 and then once it sustains a move or close above Wednesday's high of $28.25 volume that hits near or above 691,038 shares. If we get that move soon, then UIS will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are its next major overhead resistance levels at $30 to $33.

VMWare

VMWare (VMW) is a provider of virtual infrastructure software solutions from the desktop to the data center. This stock closed up 16.7% at $83.20 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 13.26 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 2.46 million

Volume % Change: 448%

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From a technical perspective, VMW gapped sharply higher here back above its 200-day moving average of $80.61 with monster upside volume. This move pushed shares of VMW into breakout territory, since the stock gapped above some key overhead resistance levels at $72.26 to $79.91. Shares of VMW are now quickly moving within range of another major breakout trade. That trade will hit if VMW takes out some past overhead resistance at $85.91 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in VMW as long as it's trending above its 200-day at $80.61 and then once it sustains a move or close above $85.91 with volume that's near or above 2.46 million shares. If that breakout hits soon, then VMW will set up to re-fill its previous gap down zone from February that started near $100. If VMW can get into that gap with volume, then this stock could easily hit $90 to $95.

NQ Mobile

NQ Mobile (NQ) is engaged in the provision of mobile Internet services in the People's Republic of China and overseas market. Its service portfolio includes mobile security and privacy protection, mobile games and advertising. This stock closed up 5.7% at $12.78 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 2.49 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 707,990

Volume % Change: 246%

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From a technical perspective, NQ spiked sharply higher here with monster upside volume. This stock has been uptrending incredibly strong for the last month and change, with shares soaring higher from its low of $7.05 to its intraday high of $12.95. During that move, shares of NQ have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now pushed shares of NQ into new 52-week- and all-time-high territory above $12.70, which is bullish technical price action.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in NQ as long as it's trending above $12 or $11.50 and then once it sustains a move or close above its new all-time high of $12.95 with volume that's near or above 707,990 shares. If we get that move soon, then NQ will set up to enter new all-time-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that move are $18 to $20.

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.