When you talk about something moving on high volume, how can you tell relatively early in the day (say anytime before noon) whether volume is above or below average? All the tools I've seen will tell you average daily volume, but volume is not evenly spread throughout the day. So if a stock's average volume is five million shares a day and it has traded 1.5 million by 11:00, how do you know if it's on track to post an above-average or below average day? (March 3, 2001)

  Right. Volume is heaviest in the first hour and the last hour. That is why if we see a breakout, we prefer it to happen later in the session so we can get a better feel if it is going to hit the volume we want. Still, when a stock does breakout, there is usually a rush to buy it when it does move into new high ground: a lot of sights are on it, and if the mutual funds are interested, they will start buying and volume will jump even if it makes the break early in the day. Look at the volume you want and see how far along you are. One good place to compare the current session's volume to the previous session is www.investors.com. That site tells you whether the volume is on a faster or slower track from the previous session. It is another useful tool in determining how volume is faring for the session.

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