Stock Quotes in this Article: CLF, GMCR, HCII, MCP, PII

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.

Homeowners Choice

Homeowners Choice (HCII) is engaged in the property and casualty insurance business. This stock is trading up 7.2% at $23.51 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 285,000

Average Volume: 244,189

Volume % Change: 157%

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From a technical perspective, HCII is soaring higher here with above average volume. This move has pushed HCII into breakout territory and new 52-week high territory, since the stock has taken out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $22 to $22.04.

Traders should continue to look for long-biased trades as long as HCII is trending above $22 with strong upside volume flows. I would consider any upside volume day that registers near or above 244,189 shares as bullish. If we HCII can maintain that trend, then look for this stock to head north of $25 in the near future.

Matrix Service

Matrix Service (MTRX) provides construction and repair and maintenance services primarily to the energy and energy related industries. This stock is trading up 5% at $11.03 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 90,000

Average Volume: 91,283

Volume % Change: 101%

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From a technical perspective, MTRX is gapping higher here and flirting with its 50-day moving average of $11.09 with decent volume. At last check, MTRX has hit an intraday high of $11.20 and volume is close to taking out its three-month average volume of 91,283 shares. This move is quickly pushing MTRX within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit once MTRX takes out its 200-day at $11.43, and some more overhead resistance levels at $12 to $12.10 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in MTRX as long as its trending above its 50-day, and then once it sustains a move or close above $11.43 to $12.10 with volume that’s near or above 91,283 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then MTRX will have a great chance of re-testing or possibly taking out its next major overhead resistance level at $14.05.

Arctic Cat

Arctic Cat (ACAT) designs, engineers, manufactures and markets snowmobiles and all-terrain vehicles under the Arctic Cat brand name, as well as related parts, garments and accessories. This stock is trading up 4.3% at $45.93 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 167,000

Average Volume: 191,917

Volume % Change: 76%

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From a technical perspective, ACAT is spiking higher here off some near-term support at $44 with decent volume. This move is quickly pushing ACAT within range of a major breakout trade. That trade will hit once ACAT takes out some past overhead resistance levels at $45.89 to $47.26 with high volume. At last check, ACAT has hit an intraday high of $46.87 and volume is close to eclipsing its three-month average volume of 191,917 shares.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in ACAT as long as it’s trending above today’s low of $44.13, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that’s near or above 191,917 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then ACAT will have a great chance of trending north of $50 in the near future.

Pretium Resources

Pretium Resources (PVG) engages in the acquisition, exploration, and development of precious metal resource properties in the Americas. This stock is trading up 3.8% at $14.69 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 94,000

Average Volume: 124,740

Volume % Change: 50%

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From a technical perspective, PVG is ripping higher here back above both its 50-day at $14.38 and its 200-day at $14.47 with decent volume. This move is quickly pushing PVG within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit once PVG takes out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $15.14, and then $15.91 to $15.96 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in PVG as long as it’s trending above $14.38, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that’s near or above 124,740 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then PVG will have an excellent chance of re-testing or possibly taking out its next major overhead resistance levels at $16.99 to $18.

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR) is engaged in the specialty coffee and coffee maker businesses. This stock is trading up 7.8% at $30.02 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 10.1 million

Average Volume: 6.6 million

Volume % Change: 183%

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From a technical perspective, GMCR is soaring higher here with above average volume. This move has now pushed GMCR into a previous gap down zone that started near $50 back in May.

Traders should now look for GMCR to continue to fill some of that gap as long as this stock can continue to push above its gap down day high of $30.29 with strong volume. I would consider any upside volume day above $30.29 with volume that’s close to or above 6.6 million shares as bullish. If GMCR can continue to push into that gap with volume, then this stock has a solid chance of re-testing or taking out its 200-day moving average of $39.32.

Molycorp

Molycorp (MCP) is a development stage company, engages in the production and sale of rare earth oxides in the western hemisphere. This stock is trading up 3.1% at $12.31 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 8.6 million

Average Volume: 5.8 million

Volume % Change: 229%

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From a technical perspective, MCP is moving notably higher here with heavy volume. This move is quickly pushing MCP within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit once MCP takes out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $12.54 to $13.20 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in MCP once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that’s near or above 5,801,000 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then MCP will have a great chance of re-filing its previous gap from early August that started above $16.

On the flip side, I would avoid MCP or look for short-biased trades if it fails to trigger that breakout and then drops below some major near-term support at $10.72 with high volume.

Cliffs Natural Resources

Cliffs Natural Resources (CLF) is an international mining and natural resources company. The company is an iron ore producer and a producer of metallurgical coal. This stock is trading up 1.3% at $40.45 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 11 million

Average Volume: 4.8 million

Volume % Change: 345%

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From a technical perspective, CLF is moving modestly higher here with monster volume. This move has pushed CLF within range of its 50-day moving average of $42.05. At last check, CLF has hit an intraday high of $42.15, but it has subsequently pulled back to around $40.50.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in CLF once it manages to sustain a move or close above its 50-day at $42.05 with high volume. Look for volume off that move that hits near or above 4.8 million shares. If that breakout triggers soon, look for CLF to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $43.24 to $44.62. If $44.62 does get taken out with volume, then CLF could trade up towards $50 to $52.

Polaris Industries

Polaris Industries (PII) designs, engineers and manufactures off-road vehicles including all-terrain vehicles and side-by-side vehicles for recreational and utility use, snowmobiles, and on-road vehicles, including motorcycles and small electric vehicles together with the related replacement parts, garments and accessories. This stock is trading up 3.4% at $81.25 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 598,000

Average Volume: 815,334

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Shares of PII are moving higher today after Citigroup said its dealer channel checks suggest that Polaris retail sales growth in the third quarter continues to be strong. Citigroup has a buy rating on the stock and a $94 price target.

From a technical perspective, PII is bouncing hard here right around some near-term support at $78 with decent volume. This move is quickly pushing PII within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit once PII takes out some past overhead resistance levels at $81.87 to $82.83 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in PII once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that’s near or above 815,334 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then PII will have a great chance of hitting $90 to $100 in the near future. Keep in mind that if PII takes out $82.83 it will mean the stock has entered new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Trader can also buy PII off weakness to anticipate that breakout as long as it holds its trend above $78.

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.