Stock Quotes in this Article: BRCM, HWAY, QGEN, SLAB, SSH

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.

Qiagen

Qiagen (QGEN), through its subsidiaries, provides sample and assay technologies worldwide. This stock is trading up 4.4% at $16.80 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 2.4 million

Average Volume: 1.2 million

Volume % Change: 423%

Shares of QGEN are moving to the upside today after on Tuesday the company reported earnings of 25 cents per share, meeting Wall Street estimates of 25 cents per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 8.9% on a year-over-year basis.

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From a technical perspective, QGEN is gapping up sharply here back above its 50-day moving average of $16.58 with massive volume. This move is quickly pushing QGEN within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit once QGEN manages to clear some overhead resistance levels at $17.66 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades once QGEN sustains a move or close over $17.66 with volume that’s near or above 1.2 million shares. If we get that action soon, then QGEN could be well on the way to hitting its next major overhead resistance level at $20.

Hittite Microwave

Hittite Microwave (HITT) designs and develops integrated circuits, modules, subsystems and instrumentation for radio frequency microwave and millimeterwave applications. This stock is trading up 2.7% at $47.62 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 209,000

Average Volume: 173,341

Volume % Change: 211%

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From a technical perspective, HITT is bouncing here right around some recent support at $45.94 with above average volume. This stock has been downtrending very badly coming into this bounce, with shares falling in the last six months from $60 to that recent low of $45.94. This bounce is doing nothing of note to change that current downtrend.

Traders should now only consider long-biased trades if HITT can manage to sustain a move or close above its 50-day moving average of $49.54 with high volume. Look for volume on that move that’s near or above 173,341 shares. If we get that move, then HITT could re-test or take out its 200-day moving average of $52.13.

Euronet Worldwide

Euronet Worldwide (EEFT) is a global electronic payments provider. The company offer payment and transaction processing and distribution solutions to financial institutions, retailers, service providers and individual consumers. This stock is trading up 8% at $17.43 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 258,000

Average Volume: 248,159

Volume % Change: 182%

Shares of EEFT are ripping higher today after the company reported an 8% bump in overall revenue for the second quarter.

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From a technical perspective, EEFT is bouncing hard here right off some near-term support at $15.97 with above average volume. This move has pushed EEFT within range of clearing its 50-day moving average of $17.55.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in EFFT if it can sustain a move or close above its 50-day at $17.55, and its 200-day at $18.52 with high volume. Look for volume on that move that registers near or above 248,159 shares. If we get that action soon, then EEFT will have a great chance of re-testing and possibly taking out its next significant overhead resistance level at $19.36.

Sunshine Heart

Sunshine Heart (SSH) is an early-stage medical device company, focuses on developing, manufacturing, and commercializing C-Pulse Heart Assist System for treatment of Class III and ambulatory Class IV heart failure. This stock is trading up 18% at $11.91 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 582,000

Average Volume: 152,511

Volume % Change: 599%

Shares of SSH are skyrocketing today after the company said it had received CE Mark approval in Europe for the C-Pulse Heart Assist system in the treatment of Class III and ambulatory Class IV heart failure. This will allow for commercialization of the technology in Europe and countries in Asia and Latin America that recognize the CE Mark.

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From a technical perspective, SSH is gaping up sharply here right off some near-term support around $10 with heavy volume. This move has briefly pushed SSH into breakout territory, since this stock took out some near-term overhead resistance at $12.50. At last check, SSH has hit an intraday high of $13.69, but it has since then pulled back below $12.50.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in SSH if it can manage to hold a trend above $12.50, and then break out above $13.69 to $14.54 with high volume. Look for a sustained move or close above $13.69 to $14.54 with volume that’s near or above 152,511 shares. If we get that breakout action soon, then SSH will have a great chance of re-testing or possibly taking out its recent high of $17.25.

On the flipside, I would avoid SSH or look for short-biased trades if it fails to trigger that move, and then takes out some near-term support at $10 to $8.66 with heavy volume.

Silicon Laboratories

Silicon Laboratories (SLAB) designs and develops, analog-intensive, mixed-signal integrated circuits for a range of applications. This stock is trading up 10.4% at $38.59 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 787,000

Average Volume: 423,773

Volume % Change: 404%

Shares of SLAB are skyrocketing today after the company reported earnings per share of 51 cents for the quarter, beating Wall Street estimates of 47 cents per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was down .1% on a year-over-year basis.

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From a technical perspective, SLAB is gapping up huge here back above its 50-day moving average of $35.77 with heavy volume. This move is quickly pushing SLAB within range of taking out its 200-day moving average of $40.25.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades if SLAB can manage to take out its 200-day at $40.25 with high volume. Look for a sustained move or close above $40.25 with volume that’s near or above 423,773 shares. If we get that action soon, then look for SLAB to trend higher towards its next major overhead resistance levels at $43 to $44.

Healthways

Healthways (HWAY) provides solutions to help people improve physical, emotional and social well-being. Healthways provides specific and personalized interventions for each individual in a population, irrespective of health status, age or payor. This stock is trading up 2% at $10.15 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 399,000

Average Volume: 161,016

Volume % Change: 395%

Shares of HWAY are ripping to the upside today after the company reported a quarterly profit that beat Wall Street expectations on an earlier-than-expected recognition of performance-based fees.

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From a technical perspective, HWAY is gapping up big here with above average volume, and this stock has entered breakout territory since it’s cleared some near-term overhead resistance at $9.54.

Traders should continue to look for long-biased trades as long as HWAY is trending above $9.54 with strong upside volume flows. I would consider any upside volume day that registers near or above 161,016 shares as bullish. If we continue to see HWAY hold that trend, then this stock should easily re-test or take out its next significant overhead resistance levels at $11.20 to $12.13, and even possibly $13.30.

Keep in mind that high-volume breakouts like this are very bullish price action, as long as the stock holds the breakout.

Broadcom

Broadcom (BRCM) is a global semiconductor solution for wired and wireless communications. Broadcom products deliver voice, video, data and multimedia connectivity in the home, the office and the mobile environment. This stock is trading up 9.2% at $33.61 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 11 million

Average Volume: 8.1 million

Volume % Change: 191%

Shares of BRCM are soaring today after the company reported earnings per share of 72 cents for the quarter, topping Wall Street estimates of 67 cents per share. The company’s revenue was up 9.7% compared to the same quarter last year.

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From a technical perspective, BRCM is gapping up sharply here back above its 50-day moving average of $32.58 with above average volume This move is quickly pushing BRCM with range of taking out its 200-day moving average of $34.05.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades as long as BRCM is trending above its 50-day, and then once it takes out its 200-day at $34.05 with high volume. Look for a sustained move or close above $34.05 with volume that’s near or above 8,119,010 shares. If we get that action soon, then BRCM will have a great chance of re-testing and possibly taking out its next major overhead resistance levels at $35.54 to $37.14 and $37.78.

On the flipside, I would avoid BRCM or look for short-biased trades if this stock fails to trigger that move over its 200-day, and then drops below its 50-day at $32.58 with high volume. If we get that action, then BRCM could fill today’s gap and trend down towards $30.

As of the most recently reported quarter, Broadcom was one of David Tepper's Appaloosa Management holdings.

ATMI

ATMI (ATMI) is a supplier of materials, materials packaging and materials delivery systems used globally in the manufacture of microelectronics devices. This stock is trading up 4.8% at $19.65 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 208,000

Average Volume: 152,921

Volume % Change: 202%

Shares of ATMI are moving notably higher today after the company reported earnings per share of 35 cents for the quarter, beating Wall Street estimates of 33 cents per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 1.8% on a year-over-year basis.

From a technical perspective, ATMI is bouncing higher here right off some near-term support at $19 to $18.36 with above average volume. This move has briefly pushed ATMI above its 50-day moving average of $20.02. At last check, ATMI has hit an intraday high of $20.55, but it has since then pulled back below its 50-day moving average.

Traders should now only consider long-biased trades in ATMI if it can manage to clear both its 50-day at $20.02 and its 200-day at $21.13, and then some more overhead resistance at $21.32 with high volume. Look for a sustained move or close above those levels with volume that’s near or above 152,921 shares. If we get that action soon, then ATMI could spike back toward its April high of $23.81.

On the flipside, I would avoid this stock or look for short-biased trades if it fails to hold a trend above its 50-day, and then drops below some major previous support levels at $18.36 to $18.21.

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.