Stock Quotes in this Article: KKD, TXTR, MHFI

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.

McGraw Hill Financial

McGraw Hill Financial (MHFI) is a financial information and education company. This stock closed up 0.7% at $73.94 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 2.47 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 1.14 million

Volume % Change: 110%

From a technical perspective, MHFI spiked modestly higher here with above-average volume. This stock has been uptrending strong for the last six months, with shares soaring higher from its low of $52.23 to its recent high of $75.85. During that uptrend, shares of MHFI have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now pushed shares of MHFI within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if MHFI manages to take out Wednesday's high of $74.90 to its 52-week high at $75.85 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in MHFI as long as it's trending above $72 or above its 50-day at $69.98 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 1.14 million shares. If that breakout hits soon, then MHFI will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $80 to $83.

Textura

Textura (TXTR) provides on-demand business collaboration software solutions to the commercial construction industry. This stock closed up 10.7% to $35.58 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 1.1 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 258,752

Volume % Change: 470%

From a technical perspective, TXTR ripped sharply higher here right above some near-term support at $31.51 with heavy upside volume. This move pushed shares of TXTR into breakout territory, since the stock took out some near-term overhead resistance at $34.64. Shares of TXTR are now starting to move within range of triggering another breakout trade. That trade will hit if TXTR manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance at $36 to its 50-day moving average of $37.98 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in TXTR as long as it's trending above $34 or above Wednesday's low of $32.13 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 258,752 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then TXTR will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $42.50 to $44. Any high-volume move above those levels will then give TXTR a chance to challenge its all-time high at $47.25.

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts (KKD) is a branded retailer and wholesaler of doughnuts, complementary beverages and treats and packaged sweets. This stock closed up 3.1% to $20.21 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 3.80 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 1.30 million

Volume % Change: 171%

From a technical perspective, KKD bounced higher here right off some near-term support at $19.57 with above-average volume. This stock gapped down sharply on Tuesday from over $25 to $19.57 with heavy downside volume. That gap pushed shares of KKD into oversold territory, since its relative strength index reading dipped below 30. Oversold can always get more oversold, but it's also an area where a stock can bounce sharply higher from. Shares of KKD are now moving within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if KKD manages to take out Wednesday's high of $20.49 to its gap down day high of $21.30 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in KKD as long as it's trending above its recent low of $19.57 or above its 200-day moving average at $18.62 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 1.30 million shares. If that breakout hits soon, then KKD will set up to re-fill some of its previous gap-down zone that started just above $25.

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.