Stock Quotes in this Article: CRBC, IPXL, SYNA, TECD, CHEF

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.

Synaptics

Synaptics (SYNA) is a developer and supplier of custom-designed human interface solutions that enable people to interact with a range of mobile computing, communications, entertainment and other electronic devices. This stock is trading up 11.7% at $28.42 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 1.7 million

Average Volume: 517,752

Volume % Change: 474%

Shares of SYNA are ripping to the upside today after the company reported earnings per share of 54 cents, topping Wall Street estimates of 52 cents per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 4.0% on a year-over-year basis.

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From a technical perspective, SYNA is gapping up strong here back above its 50-day moving average of $26.91 with heavy volume. This move is coming off some major previous support zones at $24.78 to $24.90, and the stock is breaking out over some near-term resistance at $27.33.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades off the next major breakout for SYNA. That trade will trigger once SYNA takes out some near-term overhead resistance at $29.37 to $29.61, and then its 200-day moving average of $31.69 with high volume. Look for a sustained move or close above those levels with volume that’s near or above 517,752 shares.

Keep in mind that you can look to get long SYNA to anticipate that move as long as the stock holds its trend over $27.33.

Citizens Republic Bancorp

Citizens Republic Bancorp (CRBC) is a diversified banking and financial services company that is registered as a bank holding company. This stock is trading up 8.7% at $19.19 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 849,000

Average Volume: 360,958

Volume % Change: 214%

Shares of CRBC are skyrocketing today after Bloomberg reported that the company has hired JPMorgan Chase as an adviser and is soliciting takeover bids from competitors.

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From a technical perspective, CRBC is soaring here right off some near-term support at $17.50 with monster volume. This move has now pushed CRBC into breakout territory, since the stock has cleared some near-term overhead resistance at $18.33.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in CRBC as long as it’s trending above $18.33 with strong upside volume flows. I would consider any upside volume day that registers near or above 360,958 shares as bullish. If we continue to see CRBC hold its breakout, then this stock could be setting up to head north of $20 in the near future.

Chefs' Warehouse

Chefs' Warehouse (CHEF) is a distributor of specialty food products in the U.S. Chefs Warehouse focuses on serving the specific needs of chefs who own and/or operate independent restaurants, fine dining establishments, country clubs, hotels, caterers, culinary schools and specialty food stores. This stock is trading up 11.6% at $14.05 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 890,000

Average Volume: 135,306

Volume % Change: 976%

From a technical perspective, CHEF is bouncing hard here right off some recent support at $12.57 with monster volume. This move follows a major gap down from a few days ago that took the stock from over $16 to $12.57 with heavy volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in CHEF as long as it’s trending above that gap down day high of $14.11 with strong upside volume flows. I would consider any upside volume day that registers near or above 135,306 shares as bullish.

Keep in mind that this move for CHEF is also coming off of extremely oversold levels, since its current relative strength index reading is 31.64.

Nice Systems

Nice Systems (NICE) is a provider of solutions that enable enterprises and security organizations to extract insight from interactions, transactions and surveillance. This stock is trading up 3.4% at $31.70 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 230,000

Average Volume: 218,573

Volume % Change: 72%

From a technical perspective, NICE is rebounding nicely here after the stock recently gapped down big from over $36 to under $31 with heavy volume. Following that gap down, shares of NICE went on to hit a low of $29.51.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades if NICE can manage to break out above its gap down day high of $32.10 with high volume. Look for a sustained move or close above $32.10 with volume that’s near or above 218,573 shares. If we get that breakout soon, then look for NICE to fill some of that gap and possibly hit $33 to $34.

On the flipside, I would look for short-biased trades or avoid NICE if it fails to trigger or hold that move and then moves back below $29.51 with high volume.

Volcano

Volcano (VOLC) designs, develops, manufactures and commercializes a range of precision guided therapy tools, including intravascular ultrasound and fractional flow reserve products. This stock is trading up 4% at $27.02 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 386,000

Average Volume: 361,519

Volume % Change: 103%

Shares of VOLC are trending higher today after the company reported earnings per share of 6 cents for the quarter, beating Wall Street estimates of 4 cents per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 13.6% on a year-over-year basis.

From a technical perspective, VOLC is bouncing strong here right near some previous support at $25.12 with above average volume. This move has pushed VOLC back above its 200-day moving average of $26.71.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades once VOLC triggers its next major breakout. That trade will trigger once VOLC takes out some near-term overhead resistance at $27.73, and then its 50-day moving average of $28.22 with high volume. Look for a sustained move or close above those levels with volume that registers near or above 361,519 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then VOLC will have a great chance of re-testing and possibly taking out its July high of $30.59.

On the flipside, I would avoid this stock if it were to trend back below its 200-day at 426.71 with strong volume.

Tech Data

Tech Data (TECD) is a wholesale distributor of technology products. Tech Data’s customers include more than 125,000 value-added resellers, direct marketers, retailers and corporate resellers. This stock is trading up 4.4% at $47.68 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 522,000

Average Volume: 456,657

Volume % Change: 70%

From a technical perspective, TECD is bouncing hard here right off some major previous support at $45.56 with above average volume. This stock has found buying interest consistently for the past two months, whenever it has pulled back to around $46 to $45.50. This move is also pushing TECD back above its 50-day moving average of $47.46. At last check, TECD has hit an intraday high of $48 and volume is above its three-month average action of 456,657 shares.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in TECD as long as it’s trending above its 50-day at $47.46 with strong upside volume flows. I would consider any upside volume day that registers near or above 456,657 shares as bullish. If we continue to see TECD hold that trend, then this stock will setup to re-test and possibly take out its 200-day moving average of $50.62.

Impax Laboratories

Impax Laboratories (IPXL) is a specialty pharmaceutical company. Impax Laboratories is engaged in development, manufacture and marketing of bio-equivalent pharmaceutical products, referred to as generics, in addition to the development of branded products. This stock is trading up 1.7% at $23.03 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 592,000

Average Volume: 490,700

Volume % Change: 103%

From a technical perspective, IPXL is moving modestly higher here with above average volume. This move is a continuation pattern of momentum buying after IPXL recently took out both its 50-day and 200-day moving average s with volume. This move is also pushing IPXL within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit once IPXL takes out some near-term overhead resistance at $23.23 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-baized trades once IPXL sustains a move or close above $23.23 with volume that’s near or above 490,700 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then look for IPXL to re-test and possibly take out its April high of $25.36. Traders should key off of $22.13 for near-term support.

Balchem

Balchem (BCPC) is engaged in the development, manufacture and marketing of specialty performance ingredients and products for the food, nutritional, feed, pharmaceutical and medical sterilization industries. This stock is trading up 3.6% at $34.29 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 116,000

Average Volume: 115,897

Volume % Change: 60%

From a technical perspective, BCPC is trending higher here as the stock has started to challenge its 200-day moving average of $32.24 with slightly above average volume. This move is coming after BCPC found some buying support right above its 50-day moving average of $32.24.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades once BCPC triggers its next major breakout trade. That trade will hit once BCPC takes out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $34.34 to $35.12 with high volume. Look for a sustained move or close above those levels with volume that’s near or above 115,897 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then BCPC will have a great chance of trading up towards $37 to $39. Traders should key off BCPC’s 50-day moving average of $32.24 for near-term support.

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.