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4 Stocks Spiking on Unusual Volume

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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."

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.

Furiex Pharmaceuticals

Furiex Pharmaceuticals is a drug development collaboration company that uses clinical development strategies to increase the value of partnered pharmaceutical assets and accelerate their development timelines. This stock closed up 6.3 percent at $36.27 on Wednesday.

Wednesday's Volume: 190,000
Average Volume: 77,918
Volume % Change: 120 percent

From a technical perspective, Furiex Pharmaceuticals soared higher here right off some near-term support at $34 with above-average volume. This move pushed shares into breakout territory, since the stock took out some near-term overhead resistance at $35.75. At last check, Furiex Pharmaceuticals hit an intraday high of $37.25.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in Furiex Pharmaceuticals as long as it's trending above $35.75 and then once it triggers a new breakout trade above $37.25 with volume that hits near or above 77,918 shares. If that breakout triggers, then Furiex Pharmaceuticals will set up to enter new 52-week-high and all-time-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $40 to $42 in the near future.

Mine Safety Appliances

Mine Safety Appliances is engaged in the development, manufacture and supply of products that protect people's health and safety. This stock closed up 2.9 percent at $46.54 on Wednesday.

Wednesday's Volume: 426,000
Average Volume: 96,560
Volume % Change: 296 percent

Shares of Mine Safety Appliances rose modestly on Wednesday after the company reported an earnings per share increase of 1.96 percent to 52 cents per share, versus earnings per share of 46 cents per share in the year-earlier quarter. Revenue decreased 2.65 percent to $296.7 million from the year-earlier quarter.

From a technical perspective, Mine Safety Appliances spiked higher here right off some near-term support at $44.97 with above-average volume. This move has pushed shares of Mine Safety Appliances into breakout territory, since the stock took out some near-term overhead resistance at $46.34. That move has also pushed shares of Mine Safety Appliances into new 52-week-high territory, since the stock hit an intraday high of $46.85.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in Mine Safety Appliances as long as it's trending above $46.34 or its Wednesday low of $45.44, and then once it triggers a new breakout trade above $46.85 with volume that hits near or above 96,560 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then Mine Safety Appliances will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that move are $50 to $52 in the near future.

Seaspan

Seaspan operates a fleet of about 42 container ships and charters them pursuant to long-term, fixed-rate time charters to major container liner companies. This stock closed up 3.5 percent at $19.89 on Wednesday.

Wednesday's Volume: 356,000
Average Volume: 120,497
Volume % Change: 243 percent

From a technical perspective, Seaspan ripped higher here right above its recent low of $18.86 with above-average volume. This stock has been uptrending strong for the last month and change, with shares soaring from its low of $15.75 to its recent high of $20.15. During that move, shares of Seaspan have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now pushed shares of Seaspan within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if Seaspan manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance at $20.15 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in Seaspan as long as it's trending above Wednesday's low of $19.51 or that recent low of $18.86, and then once it sustains a move or close above $20.15 with volume that hits near or above 120,497 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then Seaspan will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $21.12. Any high-volume move above $21.12 could then send Seaspan towards $23 to $25 in the near future.

3D Systems

3D Systems manufactures & sells 3D content-to-print solutions and 3D printing systems. This stock closed up 4 percent at $65.59 on Wednesday.

Wednesday's Volume: 4.43 million
Average Volume: 2.63 million
Volume % Change: 100 percent

From a technical perspective, 3D Systems ripped higher here right off some near-term support at $62.26 with above-average volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of 3D Systems within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if 3D Systems manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance at $68.44 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in 3D Systems as long as it's trending above $63 to $62.26, and then once it sustains a move or close above $68.44 with volume that hits near or above 2.63 million shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then 3D Systems will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $70 to $71.98.

Any high-volume move above $71.98 will then push shares of 3D Systems into new 52-week-high and all-time-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that move are $75 to $80 in the near future.

By TheStreet.com Contributor Roberto Pedone

Additional News: Miners Crank Up Volume

Additional Views: Market's a 'Short Squeeze on Pessimism': Terranova

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Disclosures:

At the time of publication, Roberto Pedone had no positions the stocks mentioned.

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Disclaimer