Stock Quotes in this Article: ATR, COLM

 DELAFIELD, Wis. (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.

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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.

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With that in mind, let's take a look at several stocks rising on unusual volume today.

Columbia Sportswear

Columbia Sportswear (COLM) is engaged in the design, develop, market and distribute active outdoor apparel, footwear, accessories and equipment under four brands namely Columbia, Mountain Hardwear, Sorel and Montrail. This stock closed up 1% to $65.29 in Monday's trading session.

Monday's Volume: 126,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 75,362

Volume % Change: 50%

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From a technical perspective, COLM trended modestly higher here right above its 50-day moving average of $62.08 with above-average volume. This stock has been uptrending strong for the last five months, with shares pushing higher from its low of $54.66 to its recent high of $66.69. During that move, shares of COLM have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move is now pushing shares of COLM within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit if COLM manages to take out some key near-term overhead resistance levels at $65.90 to its 52-week high at $66.69 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in COLM as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $62.08 or above more support at $61.75 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 75,362 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then COLM will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $70 to $75.

AptarGroup

AptarGroup (ATR) designs, manufactures and markets pumps, dispensing closures and aerosol valves. This stock closed up 1.3% at $58.49 in Monday's trading session.

Monday's Volume: 350,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 185,108

Volume % Change: 75%

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From a technical perspective, ATR bounced modestly higher here right above some near-term support at $57.30 with above-average volume. This bounce is coming after ATR recently pulled back from $59.85 to $57.30. Prior to the pullback, shares of ATR had been uptrending strong from its recent low of $53.90. Shares of ATR are now starting to move within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if ATR manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $59.85 to its 52-week high at $60.11 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in ATR as long as it's trending above support at $57.30 or above its 50-day at $56.91 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that this near or above 185,108 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then ATR will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $65 to $67.

To see more stocks rising on unusual volume, check out the Stocks Rising On Unusual Volume portfolio on Stockpickr.

-- Written by Roberto Pedone in Delafield, Wis.

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At the time of publication, author had no positions in stocks mentioned.

Roberto Pedone, based out of Delafield, Wis., is an independent trader who focuses on technical analysis for small- and large-cap stocks, options, futures, commodities and currencies. Roberto studied international business at the Milwaukee School of Engineering, and he spent a year overseas studying business in Lubeck, Germany. His work has appeared on financial outlets including CNBC.com and Forbes.com. You can follow Pedone on Twitter at www.twitter.com/zerosum24 or @zerosum24.