Stock Quotes in this Article: AKRX, OSIR, OSUR, QCOR, SIRO

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. Many times when above average volume moves into 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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OraSure Technologies

OraSure Technologies (OSUR) develops, manufactures, markets, and sells oral fluid diagnostic products and specimen collection devices in the U.S. and internationally. This stock is trading up 4.8% at $13.83 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 1.7 million

Average Volume: 601,219

Volume % Change: 310%

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From a technical perspective, OSUR is ripping higher here with monster volume. This move has pushed the stock into breakout territory, since OSUR has moved above some near-term overhead resistance at $13.65.

Traders should continue to look for long-biased trades as long as OSUR is trending above today’s low of $13.21 and the breakout level of $13.65 with strong upside volume flows. I would consider any upside volume day that registers near or above 601,219 shares as bullish. If we continue to see this breakout hold, then OSUR could easily hit $15 or higher in the near future.

Questcor Pharmaceuticals

Questcor Pharmaceuticals (QCOR) is a biopharmaceutical company. Questcor’s primary product is H.P. Acthar Gel (repository corticotropin injection) (Acthar), an injectable drug that is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, for the treatment of 19 indications. This stock is trading up 10.4% at $55.49 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 4.5 million

Average Volume: 1.85 million

Volume % Change: 306%

Shares of QCOR are skyrocketing today after the company reported strong second-quarter sales of its flagship multiple sclerosis drug Acthar. The company shipped 4,710 vials of Acthar for Apirl to June, which represented a 15% rise from the previous quarter.

 

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From a technical perspective, QCOR is gapping up huge with monster volume. This gap-up has pushed QCOR into breakout territory, since the stock has moved above some near-term overhead resistance at $54.31. At last check, QCOR has hit an intraday high of $58.91 and the volume is well above its three-month average action of 1.85 million shares. Amazingly, this move has yet to push QCOR into extremely overbought territory since its current relative strength index reading is just 69.25.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades once QCOR breaks out above today’s high of $58.91 with strong volume. Look for a sustained move or close above $58.91 with volume that’s near or above 1.85 million shares. Traders can also look for long-trades as long as QCOR is trending above that key breakout point of $54.31.

Questcor shows up on a list of Hot Biotech Stocks Traded by Hedge Funds in the most recently reported quarter.

Akorn

Akorn (AKRX) manufactures and markets diagnostic and therapeutic ophthalmic pharmaceuticals, as well as hospital drugs and injectable pharmaceuticals. This stock is trading up 4.8% at $16.52 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 1.45 million

Average Volume: 1.1 million

Volume % Change: 121%

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Shares of AKRX are ripping higher today after Piper Jaffray said base their base generic business keeps looking solid and its third-quarter results hold the potential for significant upside. The firm has an overweight rating on the stock with a $21 price target.

From a technical perspective, AKRX is ripping higher here off some near-term support at $15.60 with above average volume. This move is quickly pushing the stock within range of a major breakout trade. That trade will hit once AKRX takes out some near-term overhead resistance at $16.70 with high-volume. At last check, AKRX has hit an intraday high of $16.87 and volume is well above its three-month average of 1.1 million shares.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades as long as AKRX is trending above $16.70 to $16.87 with strong upside volume flows. I would consider any upside volume day that registers near or above 1.1 million shares as bullish. If we continue to see that action, then look for AKRX to hit $20 in the near future.

Osiris Therapeutics

Osiris Therapeutics (OSIR) is a stem cell therapeutic company. Osiris Therapeutics is focused on developing and marketing products to treat medical conditions in the inflammatory, cardiovascular, orthopedic and wound healing markets. This stock is trading up 4.5% at $10.98 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 584,000

Average Volume: 418,413

Volume % Change: 90%

From a technical perspective, OSIR is ripping to the upside here off some near-term support at $10 with above-average volume. This move is coming after the stock pulled back from its recent high of $14.46.

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Traders should now look for long-biased trades if OSIR can manage to trigger a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit once OSIR takes out some overhead resistance at $11.18 with high-volume. Look for a sustained move or close above $11.18 with volume that’s near or above 418,413 shares. If we get that action soon, then OSIR could make a quick move toward $13 to $14.

On the flipside, I would avoid OSIR or look for short-biased trades if the stock fails to trigger that breakout, and then moves back below support at $10 with high-volume.

Patrick Industries

Patrick Industries (PATK) is a manufacturer and distributor of building products and materials to the recreational vehicle and manufactured housing industries. This stock is trading up 2.5% at $14.60 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 189,000

Average Volume: 175,990

Volume % Change: 68%

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From a technical perspective, PATK is moving notably higher here with above average volume. This move has pushed the stock into breakout territory, since PATK has moved above some near-term overhead resistance at $14.30 to $14.47. At last check, PATK has hit an intraday high of $14.85 and volume is above its three-month average action of 175,990 shares.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades as long as PATK is trending above $14.30 to $14.85 with strong upside volume flows. I would consider any upside volume day that registers near or above 175,990 shares as bullish. If we continue to see that action, then PATK could possibly hit $20 in the near future.

Synacor

Synacor (SYNC) is a provider of solutions for delivery of online content and services. This stock is trading up 9.5% at $16.93 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 1 million

Average Volume: 938,575

Volume % Change: 50%

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From a technical perspective, SYNC is gaping up strong here with above average volume. This move is following Friday’s breakout that took SYNC above some past overhead resistance at $15 with high-volume. Traders should now continue to look for long-biased trades as long as SYNC is trending above Friday’s high of $15.75 or above that key breakout level of $15 with strong upside volume flows.

Traders could also get long off strength once it triggers its next major breakout above today’s high of $17.49 with strong volume. Look for a sustained move or close above $17.49 with volume that’s near or above 938,575 shares. If we get that action soon, then this stock should continue its uptrend toward $20 in the near future.

Sirona Dental Systems

Sirona Dental Systems (SIRO) is a manufacturer of dental equipment. Sirona operates in three segments: Dental CAD/CAM Systems, Imaging Systems, Treatment Centers and Instruments. This stock is trading up 1% at $43.58 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 336,000

Average Volume: 428,542

Volume % Change: 50%.

Shares of SIRO are moving modestly higher today after Robert W. Baird upgraded the stock to outperform from neutral.

From a technical perspective, SIRO is moving modestly higher here with decent volume. This move is pushing the stock within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit once SIRO takes out its 50-day moving average of $45.30, its 200-day moving average of $46 and some near-term overhead resistance at $46.59 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades once SIRO sustains a move or close above those levels with volume that’s near or above 428,542 shares. If we get that action soon, then SIRO could spike higher towards $49 to $52 in the near future. On the flipside, I would avoid any long trades and possibly look for short trades if SIRO fails to clear both its 50-day and 200-day with solid volume.

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 stocks, options, futures, commodities and currencies. He is also an outside contributor to Beconequity.com and maintains the website Maddmoney.net, which he sold to Blue Wave Advisors in 2008. Roberto studied International Business at The Milwaukee School of Engineering, and he spent a year overseas studying business in Lubeck, Germany.