Stock Quotes in this Article: UNXL, SZYM, AMBA, MZOR, RCPT

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.

Receptos

Receptos (RCPT) is a biopharmaceutical company engaged in discovering, developing and commercializing therapeutics for immune disorders. Its product candidates span three distinct specialty disease areas. This stock closed up 5.4% to $23.85 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 281,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 63,652

Volume % Change: 359%

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From a technical perspective, RCPT ripped higher here right above some near-term support at $21.67 with heavy upside volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of RCPT within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit if RCPT manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance at $24 to its all-time high at $25 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in RCPT as long as it's trending above some near-term support at $21 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 63,652 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then RCPT 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 $35.

Mazor Robotics

Mazor Robotics (MZOR) develops and markets surgical robots and complementing products for patients, surgeons and OR staff. The company's products are SpineAssist, DiscAssist and the C-InSight. This stock closed up 4.9% to $16.80 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 396,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 77,650

Volume % Change: 469%

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From a technical perspective, MZOR gapped sharply higher here right above some near-term support at $15.60 with heavy upside volume. This move briefly pushed shares of MZOR into all-time high and breakout territory, after the stock flirted with some near-term overhead resistance at $17.26. Shares of MZOR closed off its intraday high of $17.61 to $16.84 with volume that was well above its three-month average action of 77,650 shares.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in MZOR as long as it's trending above $16 or $15.60 and then once it sustains a move or close above its new all-time high at $17.61 with volume that hits near or above 77,650 shares. If we get that move soon, then MZOR will set up to enter new three-year-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that move are $20 to $23.

Uni-pixel

Uni-pixel (UNXL) manufactures electronic film products using its proprietary manufacturing process, UniBoss. It delivers its products to the display, touch screen and flexible electronics market segments. This stock closed up 14.9% at $18.39 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 4 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 944,466

Volume % Change: 335%

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From a technical perspective, UNXL soared higher right above some near-term support levels at $15.16 to $15.02 with monster upside volume. This move pushed shares of UNXL into breakout territory, since the stock took out some near-term overhead resistance at $17.53. Shares of UNXL are now quickly moving within range of triggering another big breakout trade. That trade will hit if UNXL manages to take out its 200-day moving average of $20.18 and then once it clears more resistance at $20.39 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in UNXL as long as it's trending above $17.53 or above Wednesday's low of $16.64 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 944,466 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then UNXL will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $25 to $30.

Ambarella

Ambarella (AMBA) is a developer of semiconductor processing solutions for video that enable high-definition video capture, sharing and display. This stock closed up 8.4% to $19.11 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 2.94 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 1.04 million

Volume % Change: 164%

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From a technical perspective, AMBA ripped sharply higher here right above its 50-day moving average at $16.81 with strong upside volume. This move pushed shares of AMBA into breakout territory, since the stock took out some near-term overhead resistance at $18.35 and flirted with more resistance at $19.44. That move briefly pushed shares of AMBA into new all-time high territory, which is bullish technical price action.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in AMBA as long as it's trending above that first breakout level of $18.35 or above more support at $17.50 and then once it sustains a move or close above its new all-time high at $19.50 with volume that hits near or above 1.04 million shares. If that breakout hits soon, then AMBA will set up to enter new all-time high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $25 to $27.

Solazyme

Solazyme (SZYM) produces and sells renewable oil for chemicals and fuels, nutrition, and skin and personal care markets. This stock closed up 7.3% at $11.51 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 1.88 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 641,772

Volume % Change: 195%

From a technical perspective, SZYM gapped sharply higher here back above its 50-day moving average of $11.40 with strong upside volume. This move also pushed shares of SZYM into breakout territory, since the stock took out some near-term overhead resistance at $10.93. Shares of SZYM are now starting to trend within range of triggering another breakout trade. That trade will hit if SZYM manages to take out Wednesday's high of $11.80 and then once it clears more resistance at $12.08 to its 52-week high at $13.09 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in SZYM as long as it's trending above Wednesday's low of $11.19 or above $11 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that this near or above 641,772 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then SZYM will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $15 to $16.

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.