Stock Quotes in this Article: BTI, KRA, THRX, THS, UEPS, XOOM, GOGO

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.

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.

With that in mind, let's take a look at several stocks rising on unusual volume today.

Kraton Performance Polymers (KRA)

This company is a producer of styrenic block copolymers and other engineered polymers. This stock closed up 5.3% to $20.76 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 605,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 269,288

Volume % Change: 125%

From a technical perspective, KRA ripped higher here back above its 50-day moving average of $19.96 with above-average volume. This move also pushed shares of KRA into breakout territory, since the stock took out some near-term overhead resistance at $20.07. This move is starting to push shares of KRA within range of triggering another big breakout trade. That trade will hit if KRA manages to take out Wednesday's high of $21.18 and then once it clears more resistance at $22.16 to $23.17 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in KRA as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $19.96 or above Wednesday's low of $19.63, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 269,288 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then KRA will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $25 to $27.

Net 1 Ueps Technologies (UEPS)

This company is a provider of payment solutions and transaction processing services across multiple industries. This stock closed up 7.5% to $11.92 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 364,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 157,230

Volume % Change: 133%

From a technical perspective, UEPS ripped sharply higher here right above some near-term support at $11 with strong upside volume. This stock recently gapped up sharply from $7 to $11 with strong upside volume. Following that move, shares of UEPS have trended sideways inside of a consolidation chart pattern. This move on Wednesday has now pushed UEPS into breakout territory, since the stock took out the upper-end of its sideways range at $11.63.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in UEPS as long as it's trending above support at $11, and then once it sustains a move or close above Wednesday's high of $12.18 with volume that hits near or above 157,230 shares. If we get that move soon, then UEPS will set up to enter new 52-week high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that move are $14 to $15.

Theravance (THRX)

This is a biopharmaceutical company with a pipeline of internally discovered product candidates and strategic collaborations with pharmaceutical companies. This stock closed up 2.5% at $38.74 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 1.69 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 916,688

Volume % Change: 140%

From a technical perspective, shares of THRX jumped modestly higher here back above its 50-day moving average of $37.88 with strong upside volume. This stock has been trending sideways for the last month and change, with shares moving between $39.73 on the upside and $34.76 on the downside. Shares of THRX are now starting to move within range of triggering a breakout trade above the upper-end of its recent sideways trading chart pattern. That breakout will hit if THRX manages to take out Wednesday's high of $39.28 and then once it clears more resistance at $39.73 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in THRX as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $37.88 or above $36, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 916,688 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then THRX will set up to re-test or possibly take out its 52-week high at $42.96.

Treehouse Foods (THS)

This company is a food manufacturer servicing mainly the retail grocery and foodservice distribution channels. This stock closed up 1.3% to $68.30 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 411,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 138,234

Volume % Change: 196%

From a technical perspective, THS trended modestly higher here with above-average volume. This stock recently downtrended badly from its August high of $74.54 to its low of $63.37. During that move, shares of THS were consistently making lower highs and lower lows, which is bearish technical price action. Since hitting that low of $63.37, shares of THS have rebounded sharply and it's now trending within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if THS manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance at $68.62 to its 50-day moving average of $68.97 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in THS as long as it's trending above some key near-term support at $67, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 138,234 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then THS will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $72 to $74.

Gogo (GOGO)

This company provides a suite of connectivity solutions and other services, including Passenger Connectivity, Passenger Entertainment, In-Flight Portal as well as Operations-Oriented Communications Services. This stock closed up 10.7% at $13.57 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 3.02 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 759,941

Volume % Change: 432%

From a technical perspective, GOGO bounced sharply higher here right above its 50-day moving average of $12.01 with heavy upside volume. This stock has been uptrending strong for the last month, with shares moving higher from its low of $9.71 to its intraday high of $13.75. During that move, shares of GOGO have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now pushed shares of GOGO within range of triggering a big breakout trade. That trade will hit if GOGO manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $13.89 to $14.35 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in GOGO as long as it's trending above $13 or $12.50, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that this near or above 759,941 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then GOGO will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $15.50 to its all-time high at $17.

British American Tobacco (BTI)

This is a holding company that owns, directly or indirectly investments in the numerous companies constituting the British American Tobacco Group of companies. This stock closed up 0.66% at $105.41 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 2.37 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 201,433

Volume % Change: 1122%

From a technical perspective, BTI trended modestly higher here right off its 50-day moving average of $104.64 with heavy upside volume. This stock has been uptrending strong for the last few weeks, with shares moving higher from its low of $100.83 to its intraday high of $105.53. During that move, shares of BTI have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in BTI as long as it's trending above its 200-day at $104.13, and then once it sustains a move or close above Wednesday's high of $105.53 to more resistance at $106 with volume that hits near or above 201,433 shares. If we get that move soon, then BTI will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $107.53 to $110.

Xoom (XOOM)

This company provides online consumer-to-consumer international money transfers in close to 30 countries. The company's customers use its website to send money to friends and families in these countries. This stock closed up 5.5% at $32.38 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 3.96 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 265,931

Volume % Change: 1201%

From a technical perspective, shares of XOOM gapped sharply higher here and broke out above some near-term overhead resistance at $32 with heavy upside volume. This stock recently pulled back sharply from its July high of $36.46 to its recent low of $26.34. It looks like the downside volatility for XOOM is over in the short-term now that this stock has trended back above its 50-day with heavy upside volume flows.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in XOOM as long as it's trending above $30, and then once it sustains a move or close above Wednesday's high at $33.46 with volume that's near or above 265,931 shares. If we get that move soon, then XOOM will set up to re-test or possibly take out its 52-week high at $36.46.

-- 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.