Stock Quotes in this Article: AVP, FF, NEWP, NLNK, MRC

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.

Avon

Avon (AVP) manufactures and sells beauty and related products. This stock closed up 4.4% at $18.27 in Friday's trading session.

Friday's Volume: 15.07 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 3.55 million

Volume % Change: 420%

From a technical perspective, AVP bounced sharply higher here right above its recent low of $17.02 with monster upside volume. This stock recently gapped down sharply from $22.50 to that $17.02 low with huge downside volume. Shares of AVP have now started to rebound off that low and off oversold territory, since its current relative strength index reading is 32.82. That move is quickly pushing shares of AVP within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if AVP manages to take out Friday's high of $18.27 and then once it clears its gap down day high of $19 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in AVP as long as it's trending above Friday's low of $17.22 or above $17.02, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 3.55 million shares. If that breakout hits soon, then AVP will set up to re-fill some of its previous gap down zone that started at $22.50.

MRC Global

MRC Global (MRC) is a distributor of pipe, valves and fittings and related products and services to the energy industry. This stock closed up 5.5% to $29.50 in Friday's trading session.

Friday's Volume: 4.31 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 988,975

Volume % Change: 357%

From a technical perspective, MRC ripped higher here back above its 50-day moving average of $27.20 with heavy upside volume. This move briefly pushed shares of MRC into breakout territory, since it flirted with some near-term overhead resistance at $29.95. Shares of MRC closed just below that breakout level at $29.50. Market players should now look for a continuation pattern in the short-term if MRC can take out Friday's high of $30.64.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in MRC as long as it's trending above its 200-day at $28.79 or above Friday's low of $27.81 and then once it sustains a move or close above Friday's high of $30.64 with volume that hits near or above 988,975 shares. If we get that move soon, then MRC will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $33 to its 52-week high at $34.14.

Newport

Newport (NEWP) is a supplier of advanced technology products and systems to a wide range of industries, including scientific research, microelectronics, aerospace and defense/security, life and health sciences, and industrial markets. This stock closed up 4.1% at $16.52 in Friday's trading session.

Friday's Volume: 437,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 107,340

Volume % Change: 310%

From a technical perspective, NEWP gapped up sharply higher here with strong upside volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of NEWP within range of triggering a big breakout trade. That trade will hit if NEWP manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance at $16.78 and then once it clears its 52-week high at $17.21 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in NEWP as long as it's trending above Friday's low of $15.86 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that this near or above 107,340 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then NEWP will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory above $17.21, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are its next major overhead resistance levels at $19.50 to $20.

FutureFuel

FutureFuel (FF) is engaged in the manufacture and sale of diversified chemicals and biobased products in the U.S. This stock closed up 3.5% at $18.02 in Friday's trading session.

Friday's Volume: 472,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 143,480

Volume % Change: 275%

From a technical perspective, FF trended higher here back above its 50-day moving average of $17.65 with strong upside volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of FF within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit if FF manages to take out Friday's high of $18.15 to some more key overhead resistance levels at $18.80 to its 52-week high at $19.09 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in FF as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $17.65 or above Friday's low of $17.40 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 143,480 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then FF will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory above $19.09, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $23 to $25.

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 5% at $17.60 in Friday's trading session.

Friday's Volume: 385,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 193,540

Volume % Change: 125%

From a technical perspective, NLNK jumped higher here right above its 200-day moving average of $15.89 with above-average volume. This stock has been downtrending for the last month, with shares moving lower from its high of $21.49 to its recent low of $16. During that downtrend, shares of NLNK have been making mostly lower highs and lower lows, which is bearish technical price action. That said, shares of NLNK have now started to rebound off that $16 low with volume, which could be signaling the downside volatility for the stock is over in the short-term.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in NLNK as long as it's trending above its 200-day at $15.89 and then once it sustains a move or close above Friday's high of $17.75 to its 50-day at $17.87 with volume that's near or above 193,540 shares. If we get that move soon, then NLNK will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $19 to $19.59, or at $21.49.

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.