Stock Quotes in this Article: CNA, LPLA, APAM

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.

>>5 Rocket Stocks to Buy for a Market Bounce

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.

>>5 Stocks Poised for Breakouts

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

LPL Financial

LPL Financial (LPLA) provides an integrated platform of brokerage and investment advisory services to independent financial advisors and financial advisors at financial institutions in the U.S. This stock closed up 1.6% at $52.74 in Monday's trading session.

Monday's Volume: 1.72 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 806,477

Volume % Change: 97%

>>4 Big Stocks to Trade (or Not)

From a technical perspective, LPLA bounced modestly higher here right off some near-term support at $52 with above-average volume. This stock has been uptrending strong for the last four months, with shares moving higher from its low of $36.65 to its recent high of $54.91. During that uptrend, shares of LPLA have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. This spike higher on Monday is quickly pushing shares of LPLA within range of triggering a big breakout trade. That trade will hit if LPLA manages to take out Monday's high of $53.92 to its 52-week high at $54.91 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in LPLA as long as it's trending above some near-term support levels at $49.79 or above its 50-day at $48.44 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that's near or above 806,477 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then LPLA will set up to enter new 52-week high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $60 to $65.

CNA Financial

CNA Financial (CNA), through its subsidiaries, provides a range of property and casualty insurance products and services to small, middle market, and large businesses and organizations in the U.S. and internationally. This stock closed up 6.9% at $42.42 in Monday's trading session.

Monday's Volume: 424,624

Three-Month Average Volume: 96,044

Volume % Change: 257%

>>5 Hated Earnings Stocks You Should Love

From a technical perspective, CNA gapped sharply higher here back above its 50-day moving average of $41.22 with strong upside volume. This stock has been uptrending over the last few weeks, with shares moving higher from its low of $38.09 to its intraday high of $42.80 with strong upside volume flows. During that uptrend, shares of CNA have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. This spike on Monday is quickly pushing shares of CNA within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit if CNA manages to take out Monday's high of $42.80 to its 52-week high at $42.93 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in CNA as long as it's trending above Monday's low of $40.75 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that's near or above 96,044 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then CNA will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $50 to $53.

Artisan Partners Asset Management

Artisan Partners Asset Management (APAM) provides investment management services in the U.S. and internationally. This stock closed up 1.7% at $59.41 in Monday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 565,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 177,313

Volume % Change: 224%

From a technical perspective, APAM bounced modestly higher here right around some near-term support at $58.02 with above-average volume. This stock has been downtrending badly for the last month, with shares moving lower from its high of $71.86 to its intraday low of $57.50. During that downtrend, shares of APAM have been consistently making lower highs and lower lows, which is bearish technical price action. That said, shares of APAM could be setting up here to reverse its downtrend and enter a new uptrend.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in APAM as long as it's trending above its recent low of $57.50 and then once it sustains a move or close above Monday's high of $60.03 to some more near-term resistance at $62.03 with volume that's near or above 177,313 shares. If we get that move soon, then APAM will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at its 50-day moving average of $64.70 to $66.

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.


RELATED LINKS:







Follow Stockpickr on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.

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.