WINDERMERE, Fla. (Stockpickr) -- Professional traders who 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 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.”

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.
toward cheaper, casual games on the back of weak macro-economic conditions.

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    Let's take a look at a number of stocks rising on unusual volume today. They are all recording volume in midday trading that is already at least 50% above their average trading volume for a full day.

    BroadVision (BVSN)

    This company is a provider of electronic e-commerce business solutions. The stock is trading up 17.7% at $20.68 in recent trading.

    Today’s Volume: 559,000

    Average Volume: 66,552

    Volume % Change: 1616%

    From a technical standpoint, BVSN is gapping up big today on monster volume above some past overhead resistance at $18. At last check, BVSN is pulling back big off its daily high of $23. This stock has clearly entered overbought territory since its relative strength index (RSI) reading is currently 83. Any reading over 70 is considered overbought on any stock. If BVSN closes well off $23 and near its daily lows, then I would look to short this stock. One could get more aggressive with any short sales if it trades below $19 with volume.

    Tesla Motors (TSLA)

    This company designs, develops, manufactures and sells electric vehicles and advanced electric vehicle powertrain components. The stock is trading up 18.5% at $27.02 in recent trading.

    Today’s Volume: 3,024,000

    Average Volume: 1,118,400

    Volume % Change: 497%

    Shares of TSLA are ripping today after analysts from Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan defended the stock after it dropped sharply on Friday.

    From a technical standpoint, TSLA is gapping up huge today with monster volume. This gap up in price has made back most of the losses from last Friday. Traders should now look to get long TSLA if the stock can manage to close back above its 50-day moving average of $27.62 with volume. Look for a high-volume move over the 50-day that registers well above 1.11 million shares in the near future.

    Questcor Pharmaceuticals (QCOR)

    This is a biopharmaceutical company. Questcor primary product is H.P. Acthar Gel (repository corticotropin injection) (Acthar), an injectable drug that is approved by the U.S. The stock is trading up 1.9% at $37.18 in recent trading.

    Today’s Volume: 3,303,000

    Average Volume: 1,537,400

    Volume % Change: 356%

    From a technical standpoint, QCOR is gapping up today on heavy volume following the stock’s recently collapse from $44 to $33 in just a few days. At last check, QCOR has pulled back significantly off its daily highs of near $40. Traders should now look to get long QCOR on its next high-volume move over $40, or get short below $33.66. Look for volume on either move that’s near or well above 1.53 million shares.

    Sears Holdings (SHLD)

    This company is the parent company of Kmart Holding (Kmart) and Sears, Roebuck and Co.. This stock is trading up 8.3% at $36.37 in recent trading.

    Today’s Volume: 3,544,000

    Average Volume: 1,298,820

    Volume % Change: 408%

    From a technical standpoint, SHLD has triggered a big breakout trade today now that this stock is moving back above some near-term overhead resistance of $34.65 on monster volume. The stock has also started to trade back into its gap down zone from late December. As long as this stock closes near its daily highs, then I would look for further upside in SHLD. Some potential targets are $44 to $47.33 if we get a strong close and if we continue to see strong upside volume.

    Check Point Software (CHKP)

    This company develops technologies to secure communications and transactions over the Internet by enterprises and consumers. This stock is trading up 6.44% at $54.18 in recent trading.

    Today’s Volume: 3,748,000

    Average Volume: 1,854,080

    Volume % Change: 290%

    Shares of CHKP are spiking notably higher today after the company posted financial results that beat Wall Street expectations. For the quarter, the company reported revenue of $356.8 million versus estimates of $355.6 million.

    From a technical standpoint, CHKP is soaring today on monster volume as the stock quickly approaches its 50-day moving average of $54.26. Traders should look for long biased trades if CHKP can manage to clear its 50-day and its 200-day moving average of $54.83 with heavy volume, either today or in the next few trading sessions. If we see that action on volume that’s near or above 1.85 million shares, then look for this stock to trade up towards its next significant overhead resistance levels at $56.70 to $59.

    Zhongpin (HOGS)

    This is a holding company, principally engaged in the meat and food processing and distribution business in the People’s Republic of China. This stock is trading up 5.6% at $11.03 in recent trading.

    Today’s Volume: 330,000

    Average Volume: 288,843

    Volume % Change: 187%

    From a technical standpoint, HOGS has started to trigger a major breakout now that this stock is moving above its 200-day moving average of $10.82 and above some near-term overhead resistance at $10.85 with strong volume. Traders should continue to look for long biased trades if HOGS can close near its daily highs and above its 200-day of $10.82. Some potential upside targets are $11.77 or $13, which are the next significant overhead resistance levels. Look for high-volume up days if we close over the 200-day that register near or above 288,843 shares, to confirm that HOGS wants to continue its uptrend in the near future.

    Inter Parfums (IPAR)

    This company operates in the fragrance business, and manufactures, markets and distributes an array of fragrances and fragrance related products. This stock is trading up 3.9% at $15.70 in recent trading.

    Today’s Volume: 169,000

    Average Volume: 98,603

    Volume % Change: 193%

    From a technical standpoint, IPAR is bouncing off of some previous support zones near $15 to $15.06 today with heavy volume. This bounce could be signaling that the stock has put in a near-term bottom as long as $15 to $15.06 holds up. Market players should continue to look for long biased trades in IPAR if the stock can now breakout above $16.11 and $16.78 with volume. Look for a high-volume move above those levels that registers near or above 98,603 shares in the near future. If we get that move soon, then this stock has a chance to trade back towards its 200-day moving average of $18.25.

    Coffee Holding (JVA)

    This is an integrated wholesale coffee roaster and dealer in the U.S. This company conducts wholesale coffee operations, including manufacturing, roasting, packaging, marketing and distributing roasted and blended coffees for private labeled accounts and its own brands, and it sells green coffee. This stock is trading up 9.4% at $10.21 in recent trading.

    Today’s Volume: 540,000

    Average Volume: 550,026

    Volume % Change: 88%

    From a technical standpoint, JVA is ramping higher today on decent volume. Traders should now watch for the next major breakout trade to trigger for JVA if the stock can manage to sustain a high-volume move and close above some near-term overhead resistance at $10.62. If we get that action soon, then look for JVA to make a run at its 200-day moving average of $11.76. If that level is then taken out with volume, it should be considered extremely bullish for JVA. Look for volume that’s near or well above 550,026 shares.

    To see more stocks rising on unusual volume like Natus Medical (BABY), Methanex (MEOH) and CEVA (CEVA), 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.