Stock Quotes in this Article: APFC, BTH, RMTI, NLNK, ANAC

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.

Rockwell Medical

Rockwell Medical (RMTI) is a biopharmaceutical company targeting end-stage renal disease and chronic kidney disease with innovative products and services for the treatment of iron deficiency, secondary hyperparathyroidism and hemodialysis. This stock closed up 5.8% at $11.40 in Monday's trading session.

Monday's Volume: 11.19 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 2.22 million

Volume % Change: 415%

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From a technical perspective, RMTI ripped higher here and entered new 52-week-high territory with heavy upside volume. Shares of RMTI flirted with some key overhead resistance on Monday at $11.80, before closing below that level at $11.40.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in RMTI as long as it's trending above $10.50 or $10 and then once it sustains a move or close above Monday's intraday high of $12.25 with volume that hits near or above 2.22 million shares. If we get that move soon, then RMTI will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that move are its next major overhead resistance levels at $13 to $15, or even $16.

American Pacific

American Pacific (APFC) is a custom manufacturer of fine chemicals, specialty chemicals and propulsion products. This stock closed up 4.2% at $54.76 in Monday's trading session.

Monday's Volume: 197,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 80,320

Volume % Change: 189%

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From a technical perspective, APFC spiked higher here right above some near-term support at $51 and into new 52-week-high territory with above-average volume. This move pushed shares of APFC into breakout territory, since the stock took out its former 52-week high at $54.27.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in APFC as long as it's trending above Monday's low of $52 or above some more key support at $51 and then once it sustains a move or close above its new 52-week high at $54.79 with volume that hits near or above 80,320 shares. If we get that move soon, then APFC will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that move are $60 to $62.

NewLink Genetics

NewLink Genetics (NLNK) is a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing and commercializing novel immunotherapeutic products to improve cancer treatment options for patients and physicians. This stock closed up 7.2% at $18.78 in Monday's trading session.

Monday's Volume: 337,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 159,588

Volume % Change: 145%

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From a technical perspective, NLNK skyrocketed higher here right off its 50-day moving average of $17.60 with above-average volume. This move pushed shares of NLNK into breakout territory, since the stock took out some near-term overhead resistance at $18.02. Shares of NLNK are now quickly moving within range of triggering another big breakout trade. That trade will hit if NLNK manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $20 to $21 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in NLNK as long as it's trending above that first breakout level at $18 or above its 50-day at $17.60 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 159,588 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then NLNK will set up to re-test or possibly take out its 52-week high at $23.67.

Blyth

Blyth (BTH) designs and markets home fragrance products and decorative accessories, as well as weight management products, nutritional supplements and energy drinks. This stock closed up 3.2% at $13.83 in Monday's trading session.

Monday's Volume: 673,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 326,648

Volume % Change: 135%

From a technical perspective, BTH jumped higher here right off some near-term support at $13 with heavy upside volume. This stock has been uptrending strong for the last month, with shares soaring higher from its low of $8.59 to its recent high of $14.49. During that uptrend, shares of BTH have been making mostly higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now pushed shares of BTH within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit if BTH manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $14.08 to $14.49 and then once it takes out some past resistance levels at $15.27 to $15.57 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in BTH as long as it's trending above some key near-term support levels at $13 or at $12 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that's near or above 326,648 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then BTH will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $17 to $20.

Anacor Pharmaceuticals

Anacor Pharmaceuticals (ANAC) is engaged in the discovery, development and commercialization of novel small molecule therapeutics derived from its novel boron chemistry platform. This stock closed up 4.4% at $10.62 in Monday's trading session.

Monday's Volume: 583,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 336,216

Volume % Change: 125%

From a technical perspective, ANAC soared higher here right above some near-term support at $9.84 with strong upside volume. This stock has been trending sideways inside of a consolidation pattern for the last month and change, with shares moving between $9.72 on the downside and $10.99 on the upside. Shares of ANAC are now quickly moving within range of triggering a big breakout trade above the upper-end of its recent sideways trading chart pattern. That breakout will hit if ANAC manages to take out Monday's high of $10.96 to more resistance at $10.99 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in ANAC as long as it's trending above support at $9.84 or above its 50-day at $9.43 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that's near or above 336,216 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then ANAC will set up to re-test or possibly take out its 52-week high at $11.76. Any high-volume move above $11.76 will then give ANAC a chance to tag $13.

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.