Stock Quotes in this Article: AMWD, CNQ, TEVA

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.

Canadian Natural Resources

Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ) engages in the exploration, development, production and marketing of crude oil, natural gas liquids, and natural gas. This stock closed up 2.5% at $33.15 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 4.53 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 2.03 million

Volume % Change: 115%

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From a technical perspective, CNQ jumped higher here and broke out above some near-term overhead resistance at $32.96 with above-average volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of CNQ within range of triggering a big breakout trade. That trade will hit if CNQ manages to take out Wednesday's high of $33.41 to its 52-week high at $33.64 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in CNQ as long as it's trending above Wednesday's low of $32.45 or its 50-day at $31.69 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 2.03 million shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then CNQ will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $38 to $40.

American Woodmark

American Woodmark (AMWD) manufactures and distributes kitchen cabinets and vanities for the remodeling and new home construction markets. This stock closed up 2.2% at $35.02 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 365,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 136,835

Volume % Change: 155%
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From a technical perspective, AMWD spiked modestly higher here right off its 50-day moving average of $34.05 and off its 200-day moving average at $34.35 with above-average volume. This move is starting to push shares of AMWD within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if AMWD manages to take out Wednesday's high of $35.38 to more resistance at $36 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in AMWD as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $34.05 or above more support at $33.50 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 136,835 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then AMWD will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $37.74 to its 52-week high at $39.49.

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries (TEVA) develops, produces and markets generic, branded and OTC medicines. This stock closed up 3.9% to $40.50 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 14 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 5.26 million

Volume % Change: 181%

From a technical perspective, TEVA gapped higher here with heavy upside volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of TEVA within range of triggering a big breakout trade. That trade will hit if TEVA can manage to take out Wednesday's high of $40.57 to more near-term overhead resistance at $41.44, and then once it clears its 52-week high at $42.83 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in TEVA as long as it's trending above Wednesday's low of $39.95 or above $39.50 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 5.26 million shares. If that breakout hits soon, then TEVA will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory above $42.83, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $44.50 to $47.

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.