Stock Quotes in this Article: AFFY, ANIK, KALU, LFUS, LGND, RDEN, THRX, Z

WINDERMERE, Fla. (Stockpickr) -- Professional traders that run 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 aboveaverage 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.

Let's take a look at a number of stocks rising on unusual volume today.

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 17.9% at $23 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 849,000

Average Volume: 689,326

Volume % Change: 222%

Shares of THRX are soaring today on news that partner GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) plans to increase its stake in the biotech group from 18.3% to 26.8%.

From a technical perspective, THRX is ripping higher today on above average volume. This move is quickly pushing THRX within range of triggering a big breakout trade. That trade will hit once THRX takes out some past overhead resistance levels at $24.27 to $25.40 with high-volume.

Traders should look for long-biased trades if THRX can manage to move and close above those levels on volume that’s near or well above 689,326 shares. If we get that action soon, watch for THRX to re-test its next significant overhead resistance levels at $27 to $28.95 in the near future.

Theravance is one of the top holdings of Seth Klarman's Baupost Group, which has a 14.2 million-share position in the stock as of the most recently reported quarter.

Affymax

Affymax (AFFY) is a biopharmaceutical company developing drugs to improve the treatment of serious and often life-threatening conditions. Its product candidate, Hematide (peginesatide), is designed to treat anemia associated with chronic renal failure. The stock is trading up 4.3% at $12.25 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 1.65 million

Average Volume: 1.53 million

Volume % Change: 120%

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From a technical perspective, AFFY is bouncing today near some previous support at $11.18 with heavy volume. The stock is also managing to hold above its 50-day moving average of $10.63, after shares just pulled back sharply off its recent high of $16.25.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades if AFFY can manage to close near its daily highs. At last check, AFFY has printed a high of $12.49. If we get that action, then look for AFFY to move through $13 and trend higher in the near future.

Ligand Pharmaceuticals

Ligand Pharmaceuticals (LGND) is a biotechnology company that operates with a business model focused on developing or acquiring assets. The stock is trading up 2.8% at $16.40 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 106,000

Average Volume: 97,074

Volume % Change: 112%

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From a technical perspective, LGND is bouncing today right around some previous support at $16 with decent volume. This stock has also managed to hold its 50-day moving average of $15.18, after shares just dropped sharply from its recent high of $18.74.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades if LGND can manage to close near its daily high. If we get that action today, then look for LGND to make a run at $17.50 in the near future.

Kaiser Aluminum

Kaiser Aluminum (KALU) is engaged in the production of semi-fabricated specialty aluminum products. The stock is trading up 1.1% at $47.81 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 145,000

Average Volume: 118,379

Volume % Change: 138%

From a technical perspective, KALU is bouncing today right around some previous support at $47 on above-average volume.

Traders should now look for long biased trades if KALU can manage to move and close back above its 200-day moving average of $48.25 and 50-day of $49.27 with high-volume. Look for a sustained high-volume move and close above those levels that comes with volume near or above 118,379 shares. If we get that action soon, look for KALU to make a run at its February high of $52.81.
 

Zillow

Zillow (Z) is a real estate information marketplace. Zillow provides information about homes, real estate listings and mortgages, through its Website and mobile applications, enabling homeowners, buyers, sellers and renters to connect with real estate and mortgage professionals. This stock is trading up 6.2% at $37.81 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 282,000

Average Volume: 284,166

Volume % Change: 87%

From a technical perspective, Z is soaring today on decent volume, and the stock has started to flirt with triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit once Z takes out some near-term overhead resistance at $36.60 and some past resistance at $37.99 with high volume.

Traders should continue to look for long-biased trades if Z can manage to move and close above those levels with volume that’s near or well above 284,166 shares. If we get that action today, then watch for Z to trade into the mid-40s or higher in the near future.

Zillow shows up on a list of 13 Tech Stocks to Buy in 2012.

Elizabeth Arden

Elizabeth Arden (RDEN) is a beauty products company with a range of portfolio of fragrance, skin care and cosmetics brands. This stock is trading up 2.4% at $35.82 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 230,000

Average Volume: 191,816

Volume % Change: 106%

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From a technical perspective, RDEN is gapping higher today on above average volume. This move is quickly pushing RDEN within range of triggering a big near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit once RDEN takes out its 50-day moving average of $36.70, and some near-term overhead resistance at $36.75 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades once RDEN can manage to sustain a move and close above those levels on volume that’s near or well above 191,816 shares. If we get that action soon, then look for RDEN to make a run at its February high of $39.96.

Littelfuse

Littelfuse (LFUS) is a supplier of circuit protection products for the electronics industry, providing a line of circuit protection solutions to worldwide customers. This stock is trading up 2.4% at $64.25 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 90,000

Average Volume: 108,956

Volume % Change: 64%

From a technical perspective, LFUS is bouncing today right off some near-term support at $62 with decent volume. This move is quickly pushing LFUS within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit once LFUS takes out some past overhead resistance at $65.64 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades if LFUS can sustain a move and close above $65.64 with volume that’s near or well above 108,956 shares. If we get that action today or soon, look for LFUS to make a run at $70 in the near future.

Anika Therapeutics

Anika Therapeutics (ANIK) is a provider of carrier-class voice over Internet protocol and convergence solutions for fixed and wireless communication service providers. This stock is trading up 6.3% at $13.30 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 91,000

Average Volume: 68,829

Volume % Change: 83%

From a technical perspective, ANIK is soaring today on above average volume, and the stock is now printing new 52-week highs. This move has now triggered a major breakout trade for ANIK since the stock is moving above some near-term overhead resistance at $12.95 with high-volume.

Traders should continue to look for long-biased trades in ANIK as long as it’s trending above $12.95 with strong upside volume flows. If we continue to see that action, then watch for ANIK to trade up towards $15 or higher 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.