Stock Quotes in this Article: AGN, CB, MNTX

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 recently.

Chubb

Chubb (CB), through its subsidiaries, provides property and casualty insurance to businesses and individuals. This stock closed up 0.90% to $89.49 in Monday's trading session.

Monday's Volume: 2.83 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 1.52 million

Volume % Change: 110%

From a technical perspective, CB spiked modestly higher here right above its 200-day moving average of $88.28 with above-average volume. This move is starting to push shares of CB within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if CB manages to take out Monday's high of $89.57 to more near-term overhead resistance of $89.83 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in CB as long as it's trending above its 200-day at $88.28 or above its 50-day at $86.60 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 1.52 million shares. If that breakout hits soon, then CB will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels $92 to $94.

Allergan

Allergan (AGN) operates as a multi-specialty health care company primarily in the U.S., Europe, Latin America and the Asia Pacific. This stock closed up 2.5% to $123.97 in Monday's trading session.

Monday's Volume: 7.18 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 2.78 million

Volume % Change: 158%

From a technical perspective, AGN spiked higher here with heavy upside volume. This move is starting to push shares of AGN within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if AGN manages to take out its 50-day moving average of $124.35 to Monday's intraday high of $124.46 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in AGN as long as it's trending above Monday's low of $120.72 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 2.78 million shares. If that breakout materializes soon, then AGN will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance level at $127.11. Any high-volume move above that level will then give AGN a chance to tag its 52-week high at $132.04.

Manitex International

Manitex International (MNTX) provides engineered lifting solutions. This stock closed up 3% at $17 in Monday's trading session.

Monday's Volume: 220,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 93,006

Volume % Change: 138%

From a technical perspective, MNTX spiked higher here right above its 50-day moving average of $15.67 with above-average volume. This move briefly pushed shares of MNTX into breakout territory, after the stock flirted with some near-term overhead resistance at $17.22. Shares of MNTX are now starting to move within range of triggering a much bigger breakout trade. That trade will hit if MNTX manages to take out some key near-term overhead resistance levels at $17.40 to its 52-week high at $17.85 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in MNTX as long as it's trending above Monday's low of $16.36 or above its 50-day at $15.67 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 93,006 shares. If that breakout gets underway soon, then MNTX will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $20 to $23.

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.