Stock Quotes in this Article: PPC, WAIR, MANU

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.

Pilgrim's Pride

Pilgrim's Pride (PPC) engages in the production, processing, marketing, and distribution of fresh, frozen, and value-added chicken products in the U.S., Mexico, and Puerto Rico. This stock closed up 6.7% to $16.73 in Friday's trading session.

Friday's Volume: 2.30 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 721,148

Volume % Change: 266%

From a technical perspective, PPC ripped sharply higher here back above its 50-day moving average of $16.20 with strong upside volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of PPC within range of triggering a big breakout trade. That trade will hit if PPC manages to take out some key overhead resistance levels at $16.97 to $17.52 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in PPC as long as it's trending above Friday's low of $15.34 or above its 200-day at $14.96 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 721,148 shares. If that breakout hits soon, the PPC will set up to re-test or possibly take out its 52-week high at $19.23.

Manchester United

Manchester United (MANU), together with its subsidiaries, is engaged in the ownership and operation of Manchester United Football Club, a professional football club in the United Kingdom. This stock closed up 5.9% at $15.69 in Friday's trading session.

Friday's Volume: 682,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 131,752

Volume % Change: 547%

From a technical perspective, MANU jumped sharply higher here right above its 52-week low at $14.41 with heavy upside volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of MANU within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if MANU manages to take out its 50-day moving average of $15.83 to Friday's high of $15.87 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in MANU as long as it's trending above Friday's low of $14.68 or above its 52-week low at $14.41 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 131,752 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then MANU will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at its 200-day moving average of $16.71 to $17.50, or even $18.

Wesco Aircraft

Wesco Aircraft (WAIR) distributes and provides supply chain management services to the aerospace industry in the North America and internationally. This stock closed up 4.4% to $22.35 in Friday's trading session.

Friday's Volume: 1.92 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 305,142

Volume % Change: 570%

From a technical perspective, WAIR jumped sharply higher here back above its 50-day moving average of $21.30 with strong upside volume. This stock has been consolidating and trending sideways for the last month, with shares moving between $21.04 on the downside and $22.59 on the upside. This spike on Friday is quickly pushing shares of WAIR within range of triggering a big breakout trade above the upper-end of its recent sideways trading chart pattern. That trade will hit if WAIR manages to take out its all-time high at $22.59 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in WAIR as long as it's trending above $21 or above $20.50 and then once it sustains a move or close above $22.59 with volume that hits near or above 305,142 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then WAIR will set up to enter new all-time-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $25 to $27.

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.