Stock Quotes in this Article: AIG, ALJ, DIOD, SNE, ELLI

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. Often when above-average volume moves into an 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.

Alon USA Energy

Alon USA Energy (ALJ) is an independent refiner and marketer of petroleum products operating primarily in the South Central, Southwestern and Western regions of the U.S. This stock is trading up 4.7% at $14.29 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 1.8 million

Average Volume: 367,603

Volume % Change: 969%

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From a technical perspective, ALJ is bouncing sharply to the upside here right off some near-term support at $13.50 with monster volume. This move has started to push ALJ into breakout territory, since the stock is moving above some near-term overhead resistance at $14.21. In fact, ALJ has now hit a new 52-week high today at $14.45.

Traders should continue to look for long-biased trades in ALJ as long as it’s trending above $13.38 with strong upside volume flows. I would consider any upside volume day that registers near or above 367,603 shares as bullish. If ALJ can hold this trend, then this stock has a great chance of re-testing or possibly taking out its next major overhead resistance level at $15.21.

Blucora

Blucora (BCOR) is a provider of online solutions for consumers and business partners. The company owns and operates two Internet businesses. This stock is trading up 3.6% at $17.70 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 532,000

Average Volume: 262,256

Volume % Change: 259%

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From a technical perspective, BCOR is gapping up sharply higher here with above-average volume. This move has continued to push BCOR into breakout territory, since the stock has solidly moved up some near-term overhead resistance levels at $16.39 to $16.77.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in BCOR as long as it’s trending above $16.39 with strong upside volume flows. I would consider any upside volume day that registers near or above 262,256 shares as bullish. If BCOR can maintain this trend, then the stock has a solid chance of hitting $20 in the near future.

Ellie Mae

Ellie Mae (ELLI) is an electronic mortgage origination network in the U.S. This stock is trading up 4.2% at $29.60 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 775,000

Average Volume: 589,916

Volume % Change: 208%

Shares of ELLI are trending higher today after Oppenheimer predicted that the stock will become appealing to investors due to the company’s high visibility, lack of European exposure, raised prices and weak competition.

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From a technical perspective, ELLI is printing a new 52-week high here, and it’s spiking into breakout territory with above-average volume. Shares of ELLI have started to push above some near-term overhead resistance at $29.49, which also happens to be the stock’s previous all-time higher.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in ELLI as long as it’s trending above $26 with strong upside volume flows. I would consider any upside volume day that hits near or above 589,916 shares as bullish. If ELLI can continue to hold that trend, then the stock has a great chance of trending up towards $35 to $40 in the near future.

Patrick Industries

Patrick Industries (PATK) is a manufacturer of component products and distributor of building products and materials to the recreational vehicle and manufactured housing industries. This stock is trading up 6.7% at $14.50 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 152,000

Average Volume: 123,306

Volume % Change: 227%

From a technical perspective, PATK is bouncing hard here right off some near-term support at $13.50 with above-average volume. This move has started to push PATK into near-term breakout territory, since the stock has taken out resistance at $14. This move is also pushing PATK within range of triggering another major breakout trade. That trade will hit once PATK takes out its 52-week high of $15.25 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in PATK as long as it’s trending above $14, and then once it sustains a move or close above $15.25 with volume that’s near or above 123,306 shares. If PATK can trigger that breakout, then this stock has an excellent chance of hitting $18 to $20 in the near future.

American International Group

American International Group (AIG) is an international insurance company, serving customers in more than 130 countries. This stock is trading up 1.8% at $35.06 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 28.5 million

Average Volume: 19.1 million

Volume % Change: 206%

Shares of AIG are moving modestly higher here after the company said the U.S. government is no longer the majority owner, after the Treasury Department wrapped up a planned sale of AIG stock, which netted the government around $20.7 billion.

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From a technical perspective, AIG is trending higher here with above-average volume. This move is quickly pushing AIG within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit once AIG clears some near-term overhead resistance at $35.36 with high volume. At last check, AIG has hit an intraday high of $35.42 and volume is well above its three-month average action.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in AIG once it sustains a move or close above $35.36 with volume that’s near or above 19.1 million shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then AIG will have a great chance of hitting $40 to $45 in the near future.

Sony

Sony (SNE) is primarily focused on the electronics, game, entertainment and financial services sectors. This stock is trading up 8.1% at $13.52 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 3.4 million

Average Volume: 1.6 million

Volume % Change: 239%

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From a technical perspective, SNE is ripping to the upside here with monster volume. This move has firmly pushed SNE above some near-term overhead resistance levels at $12.40 to $12.44.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades once SNE triggers its next major breakout trade. That trade will hit once SNE clears some more overhead resistance levels at $14.31 to $14.47 with high volume. Look for a sustained move or close above those levels with volume that’s near or above 1.6 million shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then SNE will have a great chance of re-testing or possibly taking out its next major overhead resistance levels at $15.75 to its 200-day moving average of $16.04.

Keep in mind that traders can buy SNE off weakness as long as it holds its trend above $12.44 with strong upside volume flows.

Diodes

Diodes (DIOD) is a global manufacturer and supplier of application-specific standard products within the discrete, logic and analog semiconductor markets, serving the consumer electronics, computing, communications, industrial and automotive markets. This stock is trading up 2.6% at $19.67 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 425,000

Average Volume: 266,243

Volume % Change: 239%

From a technical perspective, DIOD is bouncing modestly here right off some near-term support at $19 with above-average volume. This move is quickly pushing DIOD within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit once DIOD takes out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $19.82 to $20 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades once DIOD sustains a move or close above those levels with volume that’s near or above 266,243 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then DIOD will have a great chance of re-testing or possibly taking out its next major overhead resistance levels at $20.75 to its 200-day moving average of $21.14. Any high-volume move above $21.14 will setup DIOD to re-test more resistance at $23.

Keep in mind that traders can look to go long DIOD as long as it’s trending above its 50-day at $18.49 to simply anticipate that breakout.

Conmed

Conmed (CNMD) is a medical technology company. It emphasizes on surgical devices and equipment for minimally invasive procedures and monitoring. This stock is trading up 2.5% at $28.25 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 186,000

Average Volume: 83,617

Volume % Change: 381%

From a technical perspective, CNMD is bouncing hard here right off its 200-day moving average of $27.60 with above-average volume. This move has pushed CNMD above some near-term overhead resistance at $27.80. This move is also quickly pushing CNMD within range of another major breakout trade. That trade will hit once CNMD takes out some resistance at $28.91 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in CNMD as long as it’s trending above $27.80, and then once it sustains a move or close above $28.91 with volume that’s near or above 83,617 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then CNMD will have a great chance of re-testing or possibly taking out its next major overhead resistance levels at $30.35 to $31.42.

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.