Stock Quotes in this Article: BEAV, CAT, CIR, LII, HTCG

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. Often when above-average volume moves into an 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.

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Hercules Technology Growth Capital

Hercules Technology Growth Capital (HTCG) is an internally managed, non-diversified closed-end investment company. This stock is trading up 4.9% at $12.59 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 865,000

Average Volume: 507,532

Volume % Change: 263%

From a technical perspective, HTGC is ripping higher here back above its 50-day moving average of $12.19 with above-average volume. This move has started to push shares of HTGC into breakout territory, since the stock has taken out some near-term overhead resistance at $12.39. Shares of HTGC are now quickly moving within range of triggering another near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if HTGC manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance at $12.65 and then once it clears its 52-week high at $12.90 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in HTGC as long as it’s trending above its 50-day at $12.19 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 507,532 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then HTGC will set up to trend north well north of $13.

B/E Aerospace

B/E Aerospace (BEAV) is a manufacturer of cabin interior products for commercial aircraft and business jets and a distributor of aerospace fasteners and consumables. This stock is trading up 3.4% at $60.93 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 1.42 million

Average Volume: 913,205

Volume % Change: 124%

Shares of BEAV are trending up here after the company said its net income rose 31% in the first quarter on improved demand for new planes.

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From a technical perspective, BEAV is spiking notably higher here and breaking out above some near-term overhead resistance at $60.71 with above-average volume. At last check, BEAV has hit an intraday high of $61.74 and volume is well above its three-month average action of 913,205 shares. This stock is now quickly moving within range of triggering another breakout trade. That trade will hit if BEAV manages to take its 52-week high at $62.41 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in BEAV as long as it’s trending above that first breakout level of $60.71 or above $60 and then once it sustains a move or close above $62.41 with volume that hits near or above 913,205 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then BEAV will set up to enter new 52-week high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $65 to $70.

Circor International

Circor International (CIR) designs, manufactures and markets valves and other highly engineered products and sub-systems that control the flow of fluids safely and efficiently in the energy, aerospace and industrial markets. This stock is trading up 2.3% at $44.21 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 64,000

Average Volume: 56,263

Volume % Change: 77%

Shares of CIR hare moving higher here after BB&T Capital Markets upgrade the stock from hold to buy.

From a technical perspective, CIR is bouncing higher here right above its 50-day moving average of $42.45 with above-average volume. This move has started to push CIR into breakout territory and 52-week-high territory, above some near-term overhead resistance levels at $43.56 to $43.96. At last check, CIR has hit an intraday high of $44.80 and volume is just starting to surpass its three-month average action of 56,263 shares.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in CIR as long as it’s trending above $43.56, and then once it sustains a move or close above $43.96 to $44.80 with volume that hits near or above 56,263 shares. If CIR can maintain this move, then this stock will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $46 to $47.50.

Lennox International

Lennox International (LII) designs, manufactures and markets a range of products for the heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration. This stock is trading up 1% to $62.31 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 615,000

Average Volume: 390,795

Volume % Change: 139%

Shares of LII are moving modestly higher here after the company said it earned $8 million in the first quarter, reversing a loss in the same quarter the year before, helped by lower losses related to the sale of its service business.

From a technical perspective, LII is bouncing higher here right off its 50-day moving average of $61.08 with above-average volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of LII within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if LII manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance at $63.57 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in LII as long as it’s trending above its 50-day at $61.08 and then once it sustains a move or close above $63.57 with volume that hits near or above 390,795 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then LII will set up to re-test or possibly take out its 52-week high at $65.50.

Caterpillar

Caterpillar (CAT) is a manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines and diesel-electric locomotives. It also provides financial services through its subsidiaries. This stock is trading up 2.4% at $82.42 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 12.77 million

Average Volume: 6.46 million

Volume % Change: 212%

Shares of CAT are trending higher here despite the fact the company said its first-quarter profit shank by 45%, due to a slowdown in the mining business. The company also lowered its expectations for full year sales and profit because its mining business is slowing.

From a technical perspective, CAT is bouncing higher here right above some past support at $79.19 with heavy upside volume. This stock has been downtrending badly for the last three months, with shares falling from its high of $99.06 to its intraday low of $79.49. During that move, shares of CAT have been consistently making lower highs and lower lows, which is bearish technical price action. That said, shares of CAT are now finding buying interest near that past support level at $79.19, and the stock is quickly moving within range of triggering a breakout trade. That trade will hit if CAT manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance at $84 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in CAT as long as it’s trending above $82 or $81.50 and then once it sustains a move or close above $84 with volume that hits near or above 6.46 million shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then CAT will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at its 200-day moving average of $86.92 or its 50-day moving average at $88.08.

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 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.