Stock Quotes in this Article: ALGN, AMRN, BMRN, SXCI, THRX

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.

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eHealth

eHealth (EHTH) offers Internet-based health insurance agency services for individuals, families and small businesses in the U.S., as well as technology licensing and Internet advertising services. This stock is trading up 2.9% at $16.59 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 200,000

Average Volume: 114,606

Volume % Change: 182%

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From a technical perspective, EHTH is ripping higher here back above its 50-day moving average of $16.51 with above average volume. In fact, this stock has seen a number of recent trading sessions register monster upside volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades as long as EHTH maintains its trend above the 50-day with strong upside volume flows. I would consider any upside volume day that registers near or above 114,606 shares as bullish. If we continue to see that action, then look for EHTH to re-test and possibly take out its May high of $17.92 soon.

Theravance

Theravance (THRX) is a biopharmaceutical company with a pipeline of internally discovered product candidates and strategic collaborations with pharmaceutical companies. This stock is trading up 7.5% at $23.90 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 552,000

Average Volume: 499,830

Volume % Change: 107%

Shares of THRX are ripping higher today after Piper Jaffray highlighted the stock has a potential takeover target in the biotech space following Bristol-Myers’ (BMY) acquisition of Amylin (AMLN).

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From a technical perspective, THRX is gapping up sharply here with above average volume. This move has pushed THRX into breakout territory, since shares have taken out some near-term overhead resistance at $22.93. Traders should now watch for the next major breakout trade to trigger for THRX. That trade will hit once THRX takes out its April high of $24.29 with high-volume.

Traders should look for long-biased trades once THRX sustains a move or close above $24.29 with volume that’s near or above 499,830 shares. If we get that action soon, then THRT has a great chance of re-testing and possibly taking out its 52-week high of $25.40 in the near future.

As of the most recently reported period, Theravance was one of Seth Klarman's Baupost Group holdings.

Amarin

Amarin (AMRN) is a late-stage biopharmaceutical company with expertise in lipid science focused on the treatment of cardiovascular disease. This stock is trading up 3.6% at $14.98 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 5.3 million

Average Volume: 4.5 million

Volume % Change: 104%

Shares of AMRN are spiking higher as traders jump into the stock ahead of its highly anticipated date with the FDA on Thursday July 26. Amarin will go in front of the FDA for approval of its prescription fish-oil pill AMR101 for the treatment of patients with very high levels of triglycerides.

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From a technical perspective, AMRN is ripping higher here with above average volume. This move is quickly pushing AMRN within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit once AMRN takes out some near-term overhead resistance at $15.40 with high-volume.

Traders should look for long-biased if AMRN can sustain a move or close over $15.40 with volume that’s near or above 4.5 million shares. At last check, AMRN has hit an intraday high of $15.15 and volume is well above its three-month average action. If we get that breakout soon, then AMRN could trade up towards $20 ahead of its FDA event.

Amarin was also featured recently in "5 Big Stocks Ready to Slingshot Higher."

Innospec

Innospec (IOSP) develops, manufactures, blends and markets fuel additives, personal care and fragrance products and other specialty chemicals. This stock is trading up 2% at $30.23 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 148,000

Average Volume: 139,609

Volume % Change: 100%

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From a technical perspective, IOSP is moving modestly higher here on above average volume. This move follows some recent momentum for IOSP after the stock ripped back above both its 50-day and 200-day moving averageswith heavy volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades as long as IOSP doesn’t trade below today’s low of $29.70 with high volume. If IOSP can continue to trend above today’s low with solid volume, then this stock has a good chance of hitting its next significant overhead resistance levels at $31.79 to $32.46 in the near future.

Homeowners Choice

Homeowners Choice (HCII) is a property and casualty insurance holding company. This stock is trading up 4.4% at $18.40 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 188,000

Average Volume: 149,131

Volume % Change: 93%

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From a technical perspective, HCII is ripping higher here with above-average volume. This move has pushed HCII into breakout territory since the stock has taken out its previous 52-week high of $17.47 with strong volume.

Traders should continue to look for long-biased trades as long as HCII is trending above $17.47 with strong upside volume flows. I would consider any upside volume day that registers near or above 149,131 shares as bullish. If HCII can hold its trend above $17.47, then this stock should hit $20 to $23 in the near future.

Align Technology

Align Technology (ALGN) designs, manufactures and markets a system of clear aligner therapy, intra-oral scanners and computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing digital services used in dentistry, orthodontics, and dental records storage. This stock is trading up 2.8% at $34.49 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 985,000

Average Volume: 1 million

Volume % Change: 56%

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From a technical perspective, ALGN is jumping higher here with decent volume. This move is quickly pushing the stock within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit once ALGN takes out some near-term overhead resistance at $35.15 with high volume.

Traders should look for long-biased trades if ALGN can sustain a move or close above $35.15 with volume that’s near or above 1 million shares. At last check, ALGN has hit an intraday high of $34.86 and volume is just a big below its three-month average action. If that breakout triggers soon, then ALGN has a great chance of continuing its uptrend towards $40.

SXC Health Solutions

SXC Health Solutions (SXCI) is a provider of pharmacy benefit management services and healthcare information technology solutions to the healthcare benefit management industry. This stock is trading up 2.5% at $101.72 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 971,000

Average Volume: 1.2 million

Volume % Change: 65%.

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From a technical perspective, SXCI is ripping higher here with decent volume. This move has briefly pushed SXCI into breakout territory, since shares bumped above some near-term overhead resistance at $103.97. At last check, SXCI has hit an intraday high of $104.79 and volume is just a bit below its three-month average action of 1.2 million shares.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades if SXCI is trending above $103.97 and its daily high of $104.79 with strong upside volume flows. I would consider any upside volume day that registers near or above 1.2 million shares as bullish. Look for SXCI to sustain a move or close above those levels to signal it wants to go higher.

BioMarin Pharmaceuticals

BioMarin Pharmaceuticals (BMRN) develops and commercializes pharmaceuticals for serious diseases and medical conditions. This stock is trading up 3.4% at $40.97 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 1.3 million

Average Volume: 1.4 million

Volume % Change: 50%.

Shares of BMRN are soaring higher today after Piper Jaffray highlighted the stock has a potential takeover target in the biotech space following Bristol-Myers’ (BMY) acquisition of Amylin (AMLN). Piper believes an acquisition of BioMarin could be valued at $79 per share.

From a technical perspective, BMRN is moving higher here into new 52-week-high territory with decent volume. This move has also pushed BMRN into breakout territory, since the stock has taken out some near-term overhead resistance at $39.29.

Traders should continue to look for long-biased trades as long as BMRN is trending above that breakout level of $39.29 and its daily high of $40.97 with strong upside volume flows. I would consider any upside volume day that registers near or above 1.4 million shares as bullish. If we continue to see BMRN sustain a trend above those levels, then this stock has a great chance of hitting $45 to $50 in the near future.

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.