Stock Quotes in this Article: AMSF, CHKP, CPRT, DXPE, FSLR, LLTC, SLAB, AMCX

 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.

 

Amerisafe

Amerisafe (AMSF) is a specialty provider of workers’ compensation insurance focused on small to mid-sized employers engaged in hazardous industries, principally construction, trucking and agriculture. This stock is trading up 2.6% at $25.82 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 126,000

Average Volume: 63,328

Volume % Change: 259%

From a technical perspective, AMSF has started to trigger a major breakout trade today now that the stock is moving above some past overhead resistance at $25.17 with heavy volume.

Traders should continue to look for long-biased trades as long as AMSF is trending above $25.17 closing near its daily highs. If we continue to see that action, then look for AMSF to make a run at its next significant overhead resistance level of $27.75 in the near future.

AMC Networks

AMC Networks (AMCX) is engaged in producing programmes and movie content. The stock is trading up 2% at $42.49 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 667,000

Average Volume: 378,056

Volume % Change: 212%

Shares of AMCX are rising modestly today after the stock received a boost to average from below average at Caris & Company. The firm also raised its price target to $40 from $39.

From a technical perspective, AMCX is trending a bit higher today on heavy volume. This move is pushing AMCX within range of its 50-day moving average of $44.04.

Traders should only consider long biased trades once AMCX takes out its 50-day with high-volume. Look for a move and close above $44.04 with volume that’s near or well above 378,056 to signal that AMCX wants to trend higher. If we get that action soon, look for AMCX to make a run at $45.47 to $46.69 in the near future.

AMC Networks shows up on a list of 8 Stocks John Paulson Loves.

First Solar

First Solar (FSLR) manufactures and sells solar modules with an advanced thin-film semiconductor technology, and it designs, constructs, and sells photovoltaic solar power systems. This stock is trading up 7.6% at $23.03 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 9 million

Average Volume: 5.8 million

Volume % Change: 175%

From a technical perspective, FSLR is bouncing higher for the second day in a row off of extremely oversold levels. The current relative strength index (RSI) reading for FSLR is 37.22 and it’s been under 30 for the past week. An oversold rating this low can always get more oversold, but it also can lead to strong bounces like we’re seeing today in FSLR.

Traders should now look for long biased trades if FSLR can manage to take out or close near its daily highs. If we get that action, then look for FSLR to make a run at $25 to $27.35 or higher in the near-term. Look for any high-volume move over today’s daily high to signal that FSLR wants to continue its oversold bounce.

First Solar shows up on a March list of 3 Shorted Stocks Too Cheap to Sell.

Silicon Laboratories

Silicon Laboratories (SLAB) designs and develops, analog-intensive, mixed-signal integrated circuits for a range of applications. The stock is trading up 5.8% at $42.95 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 350,000

Average Volume: 312,485

Volume % Change: 138%

Shares of SLAB are ripping higher today after the stock was upgraded by an analyst at Wunderlich from hold to buy. The firm also raised its price target from $44 to $50. The analyst said, “We believe the recent sell-off in the stock has created a more favorable risk/reward scenario and provides an attractive entry point.”

From a technical perspective, SLAB is gapping sharply higher today on above average volume. This move is quickly pushing SLAB within range of its 50-day moving average of $43.63.

Traders should now look for long biased trades if SLAB can manage to move and close above its 50-day, and above some near-term overhead resistance at $44.33 with high volume. Look for volume on that move that’s near or well above 312,485 shares. If we get that action soon, look for SLAB to make a run at $46.50 to $48.50 in the near term.

Keep in mind that long trades should only be considers if SLAB is trending above its 50-day and $44.33.

Silicon Labs shows up in Coatue Management's portfolio as of the most recently reported period.

Check Point Software Technologies

Check Point Software Technologies (CHKP) develops technologies to secure communications and transactions over the Internet by enterprises and consumers. This stock is trading up 1.8% at $62.81 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 1.3 million

Average Volume: 1.5 million

Volume % Change: 75%

From a technical perspective, CHKP is bouncing modestly today right off some near-term support at $61.24, which also sits right above its 50-day moving average of $60.24. This move is quickly pushing CHKP within range of triggering a breakout trade. That trade will hit once CHKP takes out some near-term overhead resistance at $64.77 with high-volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades once CHKP moves and closes over $64.77 with volume that’s near or well above 1,489,450 shares. If we get that action soon, look for CHKP to make a run at $70 in the near future.

Check Point is one of Renaissance Technologies' top holdings as of the most recently reported quarter.

Linear Technology

Linear Technology (LLTC) designs, manufactures and markets a line of linear analog integrated circuits for companies worldwide. This stock is trading up 2.3% at $32.25 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 1.95 million

Average Volume: 2.4 million

Volume % Change: 62%

Shares of LLTC are advancing modestly today after Piper Jaffray & Co. reiterated its overweight rating and $39 price target on the stock. Piper said, “We believe the company is seeing strength from the automotive, industrial, and server and networking end markets as well as its recent acquisition of Dust Networks.”

From a technical perspective, LLTC is bouncing slightly higher today right near some previous support at $31.44 with decent volume. This stock is currently trading right between its 200-day moving average of $30.61 and its 50-day moving average of $33.31.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades once LLTC takes out some near-term overhead resistance at $32.50 with high-volume. Look for a sustained move and close over $32.50 with volume that’s near or above 2,398,270 shares. If we get that action soon, look for LLTC to make a run at its 50-day or higher in the near future.

Linear Technology shows up on a recent list of 6 Tech Stocks That Rate Better Than Apple.

Copart

Copart (CPRT) is a provider of online auctions and vehicle remarketing services in the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom. This stock is trading up 1.9% at $25.10 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 510,000

Average Volume: 480,952

Volume % Change: 58%

From a technical perspective, CPRT is bouncing notably higher today right off some previous support at $24.60, and right at its 50-day moving average of $24.82 with above average volume.

Traders should only consider long-biased trades in CPRT as long as it’s trending above its 50-day with strong upside volume flows. Look for CPRT to close near its daily highs today to confirm that it wants to continue its bounce. If we get that action, then look for CPRT to make a run at $26 to $27 in the near-term.

I would avoid any long trades in CPRT if it moves back below $24.60 with heavy volume.

Copart shows up on a list of 10 Small-Cap Stocks Safe for Skittish Investors.

DXP Enterprises

DXP Enterprises (DXPE) is engaged in the business of distributing maintenance, repair and operating products, equipment and service to industrial customers. This stock is trading up 2% at $41.24 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 115,000

Average Volume: 86,161

Volume % Change: 134%

Shares of DXPE are moving slightly higher today after Capstone Investments initiated the stock with a buy rating.

From a technical perspective, DXPE is bouncing notably today right off its 50-day moving average of $40.23 with above average volume. This move is coming right after DXPE recently formed a double top at $45.73 to $45.90, and then sold off with heavy volume to its recent low of $39.76. That high-volume selloff was a bearish technical move, but if DXPE can continue to tend above its 50-day then it could recapture its bullish trend.

Traders should only consider long-biased trades in DXPE if this stock is trending above its 50-day with strong upside volume flows. If DXPE can manage to close near its daily highs today, then the stock could make a run at $44 in the near-term.

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.