Stock Quotes in this Article: MMR, SPW, VVUS, WPC, AEGR

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. 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.”

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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.

 

Aegerion Pharmaceuticals

Aegerion Pharmaceuticals (AEGR) is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of therapeutics to treat lipid disorders. This stock is trading up 12.4% at $15.72 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 470,000

Average Volume: 159,248

Volume % Change: 449%

Shares of AEGR are soaring today after Capstone initiated coverage on the stock with a buy rating and set a $21 price target.

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From a technical perspective, AEGR is blasting higher here back above both its 50-day at $14.47 and its 200-day at $14.87 with above-average volume. This move is quickly pushing AEGR within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit once AEGR manages to clear some near-term overhead resistance levels at $15.48 to $16.08 with high volume. At last check, AEGR has hit an intraday high of $16 with volume that’s well above its three-month average action of 159,248 shares.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in AEGR as long as it’s trending above its 200-day at $14.87, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that’s near or above 149,248 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then look for AEGR to re-test or possibly take out its next significant overhead resistance levels at $17.20 to $17.72.

WP Carey

WP Carey (WPC) is a publicly traded REIT that provides long-term sale-leaseback and build-to-suit financing for companies worldwide and manages an investment portfolio of approximately $12.7 billion. This stock is trading up 1.9% at $50.92 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 368,000

Average Volume: 222,765

Volume % Change: 322%

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From a technical perspective, WPC is bouncing here right around some near-term support at $49.10 with above-average volume. This move is quickly pushing WPC within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit once WPC manages to clear some near-term overhead resistance at $51.99 to $53.16 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in WPC as long as it’s trending above $49.10, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 222,765 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then look for WPC to trend north of $55 and possibly tag $60 in the near future.

McMoRan Exploration

McMoRan Exploration (MMR) is engaged directly through its subsidiaries, joint ventures or partnerships with other entities in the exploration, development, production and marketing of crude oil and natural gas. This stock is trading up 6.3% at $12.05 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 2.5 million

Average Volume: 2.3 million

Volume % Change: 95%

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From a technical perspective, MMR is starting to trend back above its 200-day moving average here at $11.85 with above-average volume. This move is quickly pushing MMR within range of taking out its 50-day moving average of $12.62.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades as long as MMR is trending above its 200-day, and then once it takes out its 50-day with volume that hits near or above 2,338,660 shares. If MMR triggers that move, then look for this stock to re-test or possibly take out its next significant overhead resistance levels at $13.70 to $14.49.

Emeritus

Emeritus (ESC) owns and operates a portfolio of high-quality, purpose-built communities providing services to its residents including independent living, assisted living, specialized memory care and, to a lesser extent, skilled nursing care.. This stock is trading up 1.4% at $23.01 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 151,000

Average Volume: 154,499

Volume % Change: 105%

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From a technical perspective, ESC is bouncing modestly higher here with decent volume. This stock has been uptrending very strong for the last four months, with shares soaring from a low of $14.24 to its recent high of $23.33. During that move, shares of ESC have been making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. Shares of ESC are now pushing within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit once ESC manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance at $23.33 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in ESC once it manages to sustain a move or close above $23.33 with volume that hits near or above 154,499 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then look for ESC to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $26 to $26.35.

Ultimate Software Group

Ultimate Software Group (ULTI), with its subsidiaries, designs, markets, implements and supports human resources, payroll and talent management solutions mainly in the U.S. and Canada.. This stock is trading up 3.5% at $103 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 143,000

Average Volume: 154,615

Volume % Change: 67%

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From a technical perspective, ULTI is bouncing hard here right around its 50-day moving average of $98.62 with decent volume. This stock has been uptrending extremely strong for the last six months, with shares soaring from a low of $67.54 to its recent high of $106.40. During that uptrend, shares of ULTI have consistently made higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That action has now pushed ULTI within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit once ULTI manages to clear some near-term overhead resistance at $105 to $106.40 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in ULTI as long as its trending above its 50-day, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 154,615 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then look for UTLI to trend north of $110. Keep in mind that any move above $106.40 will push ULTI into all-time high territory, which is bullish price action.

Vivus

Vivus (VVUS) is a biopharmaceutical company engaged in the development and commercialization of therapeutic products for large underserved markets. This stock is trading up 4.1% at $22.92 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 2.3 million

Average Volume: 4.9 million

Volume % Change: 50%

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From a technical perspective, VVUS is bouncing hard to the upside here right around its 50-day moving average of $21.35 with decent volume. This move is quickly pushing VVUS within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit once VVUS manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance at $24.86 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in VVUS as long as it’s trending above its 50-day at $21.35, and then once it sustains a move or close above $24.86 with volume that hits near or above 4.9 million shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then VVUS has tremendous upside since its next major overhead resistance level sits at $29 to $31.21.

SPX

SPX (SPW) is a global multi-industry manufacturing company that offers highly specialized engineered solutions to solve critical problems for customers. This stock is trading up 2.3% at $68.41 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 420,000

Average Volume: 574,597

Volume % Change: 50%

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From a technical perspective, SPW is trending modestly higher here with decent volume. This move is quickly pushing SPW within range of its 200-day at $68.84, and within range of a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit once SPW manages to take out its 200-day and some near-term overhead resistance levels at $69.65 to $71.17 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in SPW as long as its trending above its 200-day, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 574,597 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then look for SPW to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $76.32 to $78.82.

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 mentioend.

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.