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.

Susser Petroleum Partners

Susser Petroleum Partners (SUSP) is engaged in the wholesale distribution of motor fuels primarily in Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Louisiana. This stock closed up 1.7% at $42.99 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 200,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 81,264

Volume % Change: 211%

From a technical perspective, SUSP trended modestly higher here right above some near-term support at $40.51 with above-average volume. This move is starting to push shares of SUSP within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if SUSP manages to take out Wednesday's intraday high of $43.08 to some more near-term overhead resistance at $45 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in SUSP as long as it's trending above some key near-term support at $40.51 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that this near or above 81,264 shares. If that breakout materializes soon, then SUSP will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at its 52-week high of $47.93.

American Capital

American Capital (ACAS) is a private equity and venture capital firm specializing in management and employee buyouts, subordinated debt, leveraged finance, mezzanine, acquisition, recapitalization, middle market, early venture, mature, industry consolidation and growth capital investments. This stock closed up 6.2% at $15.95 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 11.35 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 3.12 million

Volume % Change: 283%

From a technical perspective, ACAS surged sharply higher here right above its 50-day moving average of $15 with heavy upside volume. This spike higher on Wednesday is quickly pushing shares of ACAC within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit if ACAS manages to take out some key near-term overhead resistance levels at $16.24 to its 52-week high at $16.37 with strong upside volume flows.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in ACAS as long as it's trending above Wednesday's low of $15.25 or above its 50-day at $15 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 3.12 million shares. If that breakout starts soon, then ACAS will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that move are $18 to $20.

G&K Services

G&K Services (GK) provides branded uniform and facility services programs in the U.S., Canada, Ireland and the Dominican Republic. This stock closed up 2.1% at $54.95 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 230,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 83,165

Volume % Change: 85%

From a technical perspective, GK jumped notably higher here right above its recent low of $52.18 with strong upside volume. This stock has been downtrending badly for the last two months, with shares moving lower from its high of $64.74 to its recent low of $52.18. During that downtrend, shares of GK have been making mostly lower highs and lower lows, which is bearish technical price action. That said, GK is now starting to bounce off that $52.18 low with some heavy upside volume days. Market players should look for a continuation move higher in the short-term if GK manages to clear Wednesday's intraday high of $55.22 with strong volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in GK as long as it's trending above Wednesday's low of $53.54 or above $52.18 and then once it sustains a move or close above $55.22 with volume that's near or above 83,165 shares. If that move kicks off soon, then GK will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $57.29 to its 200-day moving average of $58.44. If those levels get taken out with volume, then GK could tag its 50-day at $59.63 to $61.

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.