Stock Quotes in this Article: ABMD, PCYC, PEET, RGLD, AMCX

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.

    Auxilium Pharmaceuticals (AUXL)

    This is a specialty biopharmaceutical company with a focus on developing and marketing products to predominantly specialist audiences. This stock is trading up 12.1% at $21.13 in recent trading.

    Today’s Volume: 4,494,000

    Average Volume: 444,997

    Volume % Change: 1073%

    Shares of AUXL are skyrocketing today after the company said Xiaflex, its treatment for Dupuytren’s contracture (which causes curvature of the fingers due to tendon thickening and shortening), also proved effective in reducing curvature of the penis.

    From a technical perspective, AUXL is gapping up big here on monster volume. This move is quickly pushing the stock within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit once AUXL takes out some near-term overhead resistance at $21.25 with high-volume. At last check, AUXL has hit an intraday high of $21.20 on volume that’s well above its three-month average action. Traders should now look for long-biased trades in AUXL once it sustains a move or close over $21.25 with volume that’s near or above 444,997. If we get that move today or soon, look for AUXL to continue its uptrend toward $25 in the near future.

    ExlService (EXLS)

    This company is a provider of outsourcing and transformation services. This stock is trading up 2.4% at $22.14 in recent trading.

    Today’s Volume: 303,000

    Average Volume: 206,952

    Volume % Change: 71%

    From a technical perspective, EXLS is bouncing here off extremely oversold conditions with above-average volume. The current relative strength index reading for EXLS is 23.79. That reading indicates an extremely oversold condition, which was created by the stock getting hammered from its April high of $28.25 to its recent low of $21.35. Traders should now look for long-biased trades as long as EXLS is trending above $21.35 with strong upside volume flows.

    I would consider any upside volume day that registers near or above 206,952 shares as bullish. This stock will also trigger a near-term breakout on a move above $23.39 with high-volume. On the flipside, I would avoid any long trades or look for short-biased trades if EXLS takes out $21.35 with heavy volume.

    AMC Networks (AMCX)

    This company owns and operates several of cable TV brands delivering content to audiences and a valuable platform to distributors and advertisers. This stock is trading up 2% at $37.85 in recent trading.

    Today’s Volume: 565,000

    Average Volume: 441,000

    Volume % Change: 64%

    From a technical perspective, AMCX is bouncing off of some near-term support at $36.61 here on above average volume. This stock is also rebounding off of oversold conditions, since its current relative strength index reading is 36.18.

    Traders should now look for long-biased trades if AMCX can manage to move back above its 200-day moving average of $38.68, and then above some near-term overhead resistance at $39.57 to $40 with high-volume. Look for a sustained move or close above those levels with volume that’s near or above 441,000 shares.

    If we get that action soon, then AMCX could re-test its 50-day moving average of $41.89. On the flipside, I would avoid this stock or look for short-biased trades if it moves back below $36.61 with heavy volume.

    Royal Gold (RGLD)

    This company, together with its subsidiaries, is engaged in the business of acquiring and managing precious metals royalties and similar interests derived from production. This stock is trading up 2% at $76.40 in recent trading.

    Today’s Volume: 957,000

    Average Volume: 704,305

    Volume % Change: 60%

    From a technical perspective, RGLD is breaking out here above Friday’s high $75.30 with above-average volume. Trades should continue to look for long-biased trades as long as RGLD is tending above $75.30, and today’s low of $74.21 with strong upside volume flows.

    I would consider any upside volume day that registers near or above 704,305 shares as bullish. If we continue to see that strength, then RGLD should easily hit its February high of $78.32 soon and potentially take it out. On the flipside, I would look for short-biased trades if RGLD moves back below today’s low of $74.12 with heavy volume.

    Peet’s Coffee & Tea (PEET)

    This company is a specialty coffee roaster and marketer of roasted coffee and tea. This stock is trading up 1.9% at $57.59 in recent trading.

    Today’s Volume: 218,000

    Average Volume: 165,578

    Volume % Change: 50%

    From a technical perspective, PEET is bouncing here off its recent low of $55.92 with above average volume. This bounce is also coming off of oversold conditions, since its current relative strength index reading is 32.84.

    Oversold can always get more oversold, but PEET is now worth watching since this bounce is coming on down day for the overall market. Traders should now look for long-biased trades as long as PEET is trending above $55.92 with strong upside volume flows.

    I would consider any upside volume day that hits near or above 165,578 shares as bullish. If we continue to see this strength, look for PEET to take out some resistance at $60 and possibly hit its 200-day moving average of $62.27. On the flipside, I would avoid this stock or look for short-biased trades if it takes out $55.92 with high volume.

     

    ABIOMED (ABMD)

    This company is a provider of medical devices in circulatory support and offers a continuum of care in heart recovery to acute heart failure patients. This stock is trading up 3.1% at $19.51 in recent trading.

    Today’s Volume: 596,000

    Average Volume: 525,266

    Volume % Change: 50%.

    From a technical perspective, ABMD is bouncing here near some previous support at $18.74 and near its 200-day moving average of $18.35 with above average volume. This move is also coming off of oversold conditions, since its current relative strength index reading is 33.34. Traders should now look for long-biased trades if AMBD can manage to trigger a breakout trade. That trade will hit once ABMC takes out some near-term overhead resistance at $21 with high volume.

    Look for a sustained move or close above $21 with volume that’s near or above 525,266 shares. If we get that action soon, then ABMD has a good chance of re-testing and potentially taking out its 50-day moving average of $22.29. On the flipside, I would avoid this stock or look for short-biased trades if it moves back below $18.74 and then its 200-day at $18.35 with high volume.

    Pharmacyclics (PCYC)

    This is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing small-molecule drugs for the treatment of cancer and immune mediated diseases. This stock is trading up 5.8% at $32.24 in recent trading.

    Today’s Volume: 707,000

    Average Volume: 645,466

    Volume % Change: 50%

    From a technical perspective, PCYC is ripping higher here in a weak tape on above average volume. This move is coming off some near-term support at $30.06, and it’s quickly pushing PCYC within range of a major breakout trade. That trade will hit once PCYC takes out some near-term overhead resistance at $33.24 with high-volume.

    Traders should now look for long-biased trades once PCYC sustains a move or close over $33.24 with volume that’s near or above 645,466 shares. If we get that move soon, then look for PCYC to tag $37 to $40 in the near future. Keep in mind, that those targets will only have a chance of being hit if PCYC is trending above $33.24 with strong upside volume flows.

    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.