Stock Quotes in this Article: CTL, INSM, OCR, LPI, MZOR

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.

Mazor Robotics

Mazor Robotics (MZOR) develops and markets surgical robots and complementing products for patients, surgeons and OR staff. This stock closed up 8.4% to $15.56 in Friday's trading session.

Friday's Volume: 306,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 88,387

Volume % Change: 268%

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From a technical perspective, MZOR soared to the upside here and broke out above some near-term overhead resistance levels at $14.66 to $15 and above to its all-time high at $15.32 with heavy upside volume. This stock closed strong with shares ending the trading session above all those breakout levels and near its new all-time high of $16.08.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in MZOR as long as it's trending above $14.66 or Friday's low of $14.30 and then once it sustains a move or close above its new all-time high at $16.08 with volume that hits near or above 88,387 shares. If we get that move soon, then MZOR will set up to enter new all-time-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that move are $20 to $23.

CenturyLink

CenturyLink (CTL) is engaged primarily in providing a broad array of communications services including local and long distance voice, data, Internet access and broadband services. This stock closed up 2.2% to $33.30 in Friday's trading session.

Friday's Volume: 15.35 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 5.37 million

Volume % Change: 198%

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From a technical perspective, CTL bounced sharply higher here right off its recent low of $32.26 with heavy upside volume. This stock has been downtrending badly for the last few weeks, with shares dropping from its high of $36.49 to its low of $32.26. During that move, shares of CTL have been consistently making lower highs and lower lows, which is bearish technical price action. That move pushed shares of CTL into oversold territory, since its relative strength index dropped well below 30. Oversold can always get more oversold, but shares of CTL are now starting to rebound off extremely oversold levels.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in CTL as long as it's trending above Friday's low of $32.75 or above that downtrend low of $32.26 and then once it sustains a move or close above Friday's high of $33.32 with volume that hits near or above 5.37 million shares. If we get that move soon, then CTL will set up to re-test or possibly take out its 50-day moving average at $35.09 or its 200-day moving average at $36.19.

Omnicare

Omnicare (OCR) is a health care services company that provides complex pharmaceutical care. This stock closed up 2.7% at $55.99 in Friday's trading session.

Friday's Volume: 4.30 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 1.01 million

Volume % Change: 341%

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From a technical perspective, OCR jumped notably higher here right above some near-term support at $53.59 and broke out above its former 52-week high at $55.96 with heavy upside volume. This stock has been uptrending strong for the last six months, with shares soaring higher from its low of $36.07 to its intraday high on Friday of $56.17. During that uptrend, shares of OCR have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in OCR as long as it's trending above some key near-term support at $53.59 and then once it sustains a move or close above Friday's high of $56.17 with volume that's near or above 1.01 million shares. If we get that move soon, then OCR 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 $63.

Laredo Petroleum

Laredo Petroleum (LPI) is an independent energy company focused on the exploration, development and acquisition of oil and natural gas in the Permian and Mid-Continent regions of the U.S. This stock closed up 3.8% at $25.30 in Friday's trading session.

Friday's Volume: 2.37 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 1.07 million

Volume % Change: 156%

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From a technical perspective, LPI ripped higher here right above some near-term support at $23 with above-average volume. This stock has been uptrending strong for the last four months, with shares soaring higher from its low of $15.78 to its recent high of $26.16. During that move, shares of LPI have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. This move is quickly pushing shares of LPI within range of triggering a big breakout trade. That trade will hit if LPI manage to take out its 52-week high at $26.16 to some past resistance at $26.87 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in LPI as long as it's trending above some key near-term support levels at $23 or $22.65 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that's near or above 1.07 million shares. If that breakout hits soon, then LPI will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout its all-time high at $27.91 to $30.

Insmed

Insmed (INSM) is a development-stage biopharmaceutical company. The company develops inhaled treatments for serious lung infections. This stock closed up 8.5% at $13.57 in Friday's trading session.

Friday's Volume: 1.38 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 641,944

Volume % Change: 200%

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From a technical perspective, INSM soared higher here and broke out above some near-term overhead resistance at $13.45 with strong upside volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of INSM within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit if INSM manages to take out its 52-week high at $14.30 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in INSM as long as it's trending above some near-term support at $12 and then once it sustains a move or close above its 52-week high at $14.30 with volume that's near or above 641,944 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then INSM will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $17 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.