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4 Stocks Spiking on Unusual Volume

Tickers in this article: DDD FURX MSA SSW
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.

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Furiex Pharmaceuticals (FURX) 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% at $36.27 on Wednesday.

Wednesday's Volume: 190,000

Average Volume: 77,918

Volume % Change: 120%

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

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in FURX 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 FURX 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

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

Wednesday's Volume: 426,000

Average Volume: 96,560

Volume % Change: 296%

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