Stock Quotes in this Article: AVGO, EXPE, PETM, RA, TTWO

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.

Take-Two Interactive Software

Take-Two Interactive Software (TTWO) is a global publisher and developer of interactive entertainment software. This stock is trading up 3.1% at $11.51 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 4.8 million

Average Volume: 1.4 million

Volume % Change: 433%

Shares of TTWO are trending higher today despite the fact that the company said its fiscal fourth-quarter loss widened and its projections for the current quarter fell far short of analysts’ expectations.

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From a technical perspective, TTWO is bouncing hard here off of oversold conditions with monster volume. The current relative strength index reading for TTWO is 23.77, which indicates an extremely oversold condition.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in TTWO if it can manage to close near or above its daily high. At last check, TTWO has hit an intraday high of $12.27. If we get that action, look for TTWO to continue this bounce possibly back towards $13 to $13.50 in the near-term.

On the flipside, I would avoid long trades or look for short-biased trades if TTWO takes out some previous support at $11 to $10.63 with high-volume.

Avago Technologies

Avago Technologies (AVGO) is a designer, developer and global supplier of a range of analog semiconductor devices with a focus on III-V based products. This stock is trading up 5.7% at $33.05 in recent trading

Today’s Volume: 2.6 million

Average Volume: 2.1 million

Volume % Change: 138%

Shares of AVGO are ripping higher today after the company reported adjusted earnings that exceeded Wall Street expectations. Following the report, Sterne Agee said the company is executing well and maintained its buy rating. Jefferies also said the company has excellent visibility into revenue growth and said it remains a buyer of the stock following the company’s second quarter results.

From a technical perspective, AVGO is spiking sharply higher here on above average volume. This move has pushed AVGO right below its 200-day moving average of $33.37.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades if AVGO can manage to sustain a move or close back above its 200-day moving average with high volume. Look for volume on that move that’s near or above 2.1 million shares. If we get that action soon, I would then add to any long positions if AVGO can take out its 50-day moving average of $35.22 and some near-term overhead resistance at $35.31 with high volume.

As of the most recently reported period, Avago was one of the top holdings at Lee Ainslie's Maverick Capital.

Ultimate Software Group

Ultimate Software Group (ULTI) is a provider of unified human capital management software-as-a-service solutions for global businesses. This stock is trading up 1% at $78.66 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 163,000

Average Volume: 153,865

Volume % Change: 98%

Shares of ULTI are moving modestly higher after some analysts said the company could be a takeover target, following the SAP-Ariba deal.

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From a technical perspective, ULTI is moving modestly higher here on above-average volume. This stock has been uptrending strong for the past six months, with shares soaring from a low of $59.93 to a recent high of $83.02. During that uptrend, ULTI has consistently made higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades as long as ULTI is trending above $79.50 with strong upside volume flows. I would consider any upside volume day that registers near or above 153,865 shares as bullish. If we get that move, then look for UTLI to re-test its recent high of $83.02.

Expedia

Expedia (EXPE) is an online travel company. This stock is trading up 4.8% at $44.77 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 4.5 million

Average Volume: 4.2 million

Volume % Change: 95%

From a technical perspective, EXPE is ripping sharply higher here and showing relative strength in a down market with above average volume. This move is quickly pushing EXPE into breakout territory since the stock has moved above some near-term overhead resistance at $43.22 to $43.92.

Traders should continue to look for long-biased trades as long as EXPE is trending above those breakout levels with strong upside volume flows. I would consider any upside volume day that registers near or above 4,196,170 shares as bullish. If EXPE can maintain that trend, then this stock has a good chance of hitting $50 in the near future.

Expedia, one of David Einhorn's holdings, was also featured recently in "7 Stocks With Relative Strength to Beat the Market."

PetSmart

PetSmart (PETM) is a specialty provider of products, services and solutions for the lifetime needs of pets. This stock is trading up 10.8% at $61.66 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 3.9 million

Average Volume: 2.8 million

Volume % Change: 690%

Shares of PETM are skyrocketing today after the company beat Wall Street expectations as all aspects of its business grew. One analyst called the results a “howler” of a first quarter. (I featured PetSmart earlier this week in "5 Stocks Set to Soar on Bullish Earnings.")

From a technical perspective, PETM is gapping up sharply higher here on above average volume. This move has pushed PETM into breakout territory since the stock has blown through some near-term overhead resistance at $59.36.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades if PETM can manage to take out its daily high with strong volume. At last check, PETM has hit an intraday high of $62.10 and volume is well above its three-month average action.

On the flipside, traders should look for short-biased trades if PETM takes out today’s low of $59.80 with heavy volume.

SciQuest

SciQuest (SQI) provides on-demand strategic procurement and supplier management solutions. This stock is trading up 2.4% at $15.26 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 171,000

Average Volume: 102,956

Volume % Change: 222%

Shares of SQI are moving modestly higher after some analysts said the company could be a takeover target, following the SAP-Ariba deal.

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From a technical perspective, SQI is pushing back above its 50-day moving average of $14.90 here with above average volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades if SQI can manage to trigger a breakout trade above some major overhead resistance. That trade will trigger once SQI can take out $15.40 to $15.50, and then $15.75 with high volume. Look for a sustained move or close above those levels with volume that’s near or above 102,956 shares. If we get that action soon, then SQI could easily trend higher towards its next significant overhead resistance level at $17 to $18.

RailAmerica

RailAmerica (RA) owns and operates short line and regional freight railroads in North America. Its principal operations consist of rail freight transportation and ancillary rail services. This stock is trading up 8.2% at $23.95 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 419,000

Average Volume: 207,149

Volume % Change: 200%

Shares of RA are skyrocketing today after the company said it was pursuing strategic alternatives including a possible sale of the company. It has hired Deutsche Bank as its financial adviser.

From a technical perspective, RA is gapping up strong here with above average volume. This move is quickly pushing RA within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit once RA takes out some near-term overhead resistance at $23.90 with high volume. At last check, RA has hit an intraday high of $24.05, and volume is well above its three-month average action.

Traders should look for long-biased trades as long as RA is trending above $23.90 to $24.05 with strong upside volume flows. I would consider any upside volume day that registers near or above 207,149 shares as bullish.

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.