Stock Quotes in this Article: AMED, MAKO, ACHC

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.

Mako Surgical

Mako Surgical (MAKO) is a medical device company that markets its advanced robotic arm solution, joint specific applications for the knee and hip, and orthopedic implants for orthopedic procedures. This stock closed up 12.9% to $14.04 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 5.98 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 847,228

Volume % Change: 698%

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From a technical perspective, MAKO gapped sharply higher here right off its 50-day and 200-day moving averages with heavy upside volume. This move pushed shares of MAKO into breakout territory, since the stock cleared or flirted with some past overhead resistance levels at $13.45 to $14.18. At last check, MAKO closed at $14.04 with volume that was dramatically above its three-month average action of 847,228 shares.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in MAKO as long as it's trending above Wednesday's low of $13.51 and then once it sustains a move or close above Wednesday's high of $14.77 to $15 with volume that hits near or above 847,228 shares. If we get that move soon, then MAKO will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $16.28 to $18.

Acadia Healthcare

Acadia Healthcare (ACHC) develops and operates a network of behavioral health facilities, providing premier psychiatric and chemical dependency services to its patients. This stock closed up 6.5% at $36.87 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 792,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 360,986

Volume % Change: 124%

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From a technical perspective, ACHC soared higher here right above its 50-day moving average at $34.12 with strong upside volume. This move pushed shares of ACHC into breakout territory, since the stock took out its former 52-week high at $36. Shares of ACHC have been uptrending strong over the last six months, with shares soaring higher from its low of $24.93 to its intraday high of $37. During that move, shares of ACHC have been making mostly higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in ACHC as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $34.12 and then once it sustains a move or close above Wednesday's high of $37 with volume that's near or above 360,986 shares. If we get that move soon, then ACHC will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $40 to $45.

Amedisys

Amedisys (AMED) is a health care company engaged in delivering personalized health care services to patients and their families. This stock closed up 8.8% at $12.51 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 1.44 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 446,646

Volume % Change: 230%

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From a technical perspective, AMED gapped sharply higher here right off its 200-day moving average at $11.38 and back above its 50-day moving average at $11.99 with heavy upside volume. This move also pushed shares of AMED into breakout territory, since the stock took out some near-term overhead resistance at $11.95 to $12.40. Shares of AMED are now quickly moving within range of triggering another major breakout trade. That trade will hit if AMED manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $13.30 to $14.89 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in AMED as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $11.99 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that's near or above 446,646 shares. If we get that breakout soon, then AMED will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $15.95 to $18.20. Keep in mind that any move above $15.95 will also push shares of AMED into new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action.

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.