Stock Quotes in this Article: CTRN, IMOS, MDVN, SSRX, WCRX, FRAN, SYNC

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.”

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.

    3SBio (SSRX)

    This company is a fully integrated biotechnology company focused on research and development, manufacturing and marketing capabilities focusing on bio-pharmaceutical products. This stock is trading up 7% at $13.89 in recent trading.

    Today’s Volume: 192,000

    Average Volume: 64,370

    Volume % Change: 292%

    From a technical perspective, SSRX is moving sharply higher here back above its 50-day moving average of $13.48 on heavy volume. Traders should now look for long-biased trades once a near-term breakout trade triggers above resistance at $14.24 with volume. Look for volume on that move that’s near or above 64,370 shares. If we get that action soon, then SSRX has a great chance of tagging its April high of $15.33 or possibly hitting its next significant overhead resistance at $17.

    Synacor (SYNC)

    This company delivers its solutions as a set of services through its hosted and managed platform, enabling cable and telecom service providers and consumer electronics manufacturers to provide the online content and services. This stock is trading up 11.3% at $10.29 in recent trading.

    Today’s Volume: 1,260,000

    Average Volume: 479,484

    Volume % Change: 231%

    From a technical perspective, SYNC is rebounding here with volume after the stock just dropped from $13.60 to $9 in the last few trading sessions. Traders should now consider long-biased trades if SYNC can manage to trigger a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit once SYNC takes out $12 a share with high-volume. Look for a sustained move or close above $12 that comes with volume that’s near or above 479,484 shares. If we get that action soon, then SYNC has a great chance of making new all-time highs above its recent high of $13.60.

    ChipMOS Technologies (IMOS)

    This company is a provider of semi-conductor testing and assembly services. This stock is trading up 13.8% at $14.10 in recent trading.

    Today’s Volume: 613,000

    Average Volume: 365,327

    Volume % Change: 134%

    From a technical perspective, IMOS is bouncing hard here with volume right off some recent support zones at $12 to $12.25. This move has pushed IMOS within range of its 50-day moving average of $14.84. Trades should now consider long-biased trades if IMOS can manage to close back above its 50-day with high-volume. Look for volume on that move that’s near or above 365,327 shares. If we get that action soon, then an even bigger breakout trade will come into range if IMOS can take out $15.76 with high-volume. If both of those levels are taken out soon, then IMOS has a chance to hit $19, as long as it’s trending above $15.76 with strong upside volume flows.

    Medivation (MDVN)

    This is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the rapid development of small molecule drugs to treat serious diseases for which there are limited treatment options. This stock is trading up 5.7% at $87.79 in recent trading.

    Today’s Volume: 1,132,000

    Average Volume: 655,786

    Volume % Change: 128%

    From a technical perspective, MDVN is continuing to see upside momentum after the stock recently triggered a major breakout trade above $82. Traders should continue to look for long-biased trades as long as MDVN is trending above $82 with strong upside volume flows, and if it can close near its daily highs. At last check, MDVN has hit a daily high of $88 today, and volume is well above its three-month average action. A possibly target for MDVN if we continue to see this upside momentum is $100 in the near future. I would consider upside volume that’s near or above 655,786 shares as bullish.

    Francesca’s (FRAN)

    This company operates a national chain of retail boutiques designed and merchandised. Its Francesca’s collections are a specialty retailer in the U.S. This stock is trading up 9.3% at $26.26 in recent trading.

    Today’s Volume: 2,525,000

    Average Volume: 714,549

    Volume % Change: 320%

    Shares of FRAN are soaring higher after the company said it has terminated its CFO for improperly communicating company information through social media. Also, the company announced first-quarter EPS guidance of 17 cents to 18 cents from 14 cents to 15 cents per share. Following that news, Susquehanna upgraded the stock to positive from neutral with a $38 price target.

    From a technical perspective, FRAN is bouncing hard here right near its 200-day moving average of $23.49, and right near some recent support at $23.41 with monster volume. Despite this strong bounce, FRAN is still trading well below its 50-day moving average of $29.06.

    Traders should only consider long-biased trades if FRAN can hold its 200-day and move back above its 50-day with high-volume. Look for volume on a move back above its 50-day moving average of 29.06 that’s near or above 714,549 shares. On the flipside, I would consider short-biased trades if FRAN takes out $23.41 with heavy volume.

    Citi Trends (CTRN)

    This company is a retailer of urban fashion apparel and accessories for the entire family. This stock is trading up 8.7% at $11.79 in recent trading.

    Today’s Volume: 98,000

    Average Volume: 73,337

    Volume % Change: 96%

    Shares of CTRN are soaring today ahead of its earnings report scheduled for Wednesday before the market open.

    From a technical perspective, CTRN is ripping higher here right off its 50-day moving average of $11.11 on decent volume. The stock has also triggered a breakout trade since it’s taken out some near-term overhead resistance at $11.59. Traders should now look for long-biased trades after CTRN reports earnings if the stock can manage to trigger a major breakout trade. That trade will hit once CTRN sustains a high-volume move or close above $12.50 to $13.37. Look for volume on that move that’s near or above 73,337 shares. If we get that action, then CTRN could hit $15 post-earnings.

    Warner Chilcott (WCRX)

    This is a specialty pharmaceutical company. It is focused on the women’s health care, gastroenterology, dermatology and urology segments of the branded pharmaceuticals market, primarily in North America. This stock is trading up 2.6% at $21.96 in recent trading.

    Today’s Volume: 4,445,000

    Average Volume: 2,972,770

    Volume % Change: 92%

    From a technical perspective, WCRX is moving modestly higher right off some near-term support at $21 with monster volume. This stock has gapped up a number of times in the past month from $17 to $23.28 with strong upside volume flows.

    Traders should now look for long-biased trades once WCRX triggers a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit once WCRX takes out $22.50 to $23.28 with high-volume.

    Look for volume on that move that’s near or well above 2,972,770 shares. If we get that action soon, then this stock has a great chance of hitting its 2011 high of $25.92.

    On the flipside, I would avoid this stock or look for short-biased trades if it moves below $21 with high-volume. That move would put all those gaps from the last month into play for being filled to the downside.

    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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