Stock Quotes in this Article: HBI, WBC, RRTS

WINDERMERE, Fla. (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.

Major moves in volume can signal unusual activity, such as insider buying or selling -- or buying or selling by “superinvestors.”

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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.

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

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Roadrunner Transportation

Roadrunner Transportation (RRTS) is a non-asset-based transportation and logistics services provider. This stock is trading up 2.3% at $20.01 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 184,000

Average Volume: 109,113

Volume % Change: 239%

Shares of RRTS are moving higher today in front of the company’s earnings report set for tonight after the market close.

From a technical perspective, RRTS is spiking higher here right above some near-term support at $18.84 with above-average volume. This stock has been uptrending strong for the last two months, with shares moving higher from its low of $16.31 to its recent high of $20.52.

During that move, shares of RRTS have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now pushed shares of RRTS within range of triggering a breakout trade post-earnings. That breakout will hit if RRTS manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance at $20.52 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in RRTS after earnings if the stock manages to break out above $20.52 with volume that hits near or above 109,113 shares. If that breakout triggers, then RRTS will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $24 to $25.

Hanesbrands

Hanesbrands (HBI) designs, manufactures, sources and sells a range of apparel essentials such as T-shirts, innerwear, casualwear, activewear, socks and hosiery. This stock is trading up 2.3% at $39.07 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 1.41 million

Average Volume: 856,545

Volume % Change: 204%

Shares of HBI are moving higher today after the company reported that fourth quarter net income nearly doubled as the firm benefited from subsiding cotton prices and its move to exit from unprofitable businesses.

From a technical perspective, HBI is spiking higher here right above some near-term support at $36.84 with heavy upside volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of HBI within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit if HBI manages to clear its 52-week high of $39.50 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in HBI as long as it’s trending above some key near-term support at $36.84, and then once it sustains a move or close above its 52-week high of $39.50 with volume that hits near or above 856,545 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then HBI will set up to enter new 52-week high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $43 to $45.

Wabco Holdings

Wabco Holdings (WBC) is a provider of electronic, mechanical and mechatronic products for the commercial truck, trailer, bus and passenger car manufacturers. This stock is trading up 2.3% at $65.61 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 886,000

Average Volume: 489,229

Volume % Change: 188%

From a technical perspective, WBC is moving modestly higher here right above its 50-day moving average of $63.37 with above-average volume. This stock has been uptrending strong for the last four months, with shares moving higher from its low of $55.30 to its recent high of $67.26.

During that move, shares of WBC have been mostly making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now pushed shares of WBC within range of triggering a major breakout trade, which will hit if WBC manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance at $66 and then once it clears its 52-week high of $67.26 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in WBC as long as it’s trending above its 50-day at $63.37, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 489,229 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then WBC will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $70 to $73.

To see more stocks rising on unusual volume, check out the Stocks Rising on Unusual Volume portfolio on Stockpickr.

-- Written by Roberto Pedone in Winderemere, Fla.


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At the time of publication, author had no positions in stocks mentioned.

Roberto Pedone, based out of Windermere, Fla., 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.