Stock Quotes in this Article: AAP, HZNP, ARMK

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.

Aramark

Aramark (ARMK) provides food, facilities and uniform services in North America and internationally. This stock closed up 3.5% to $29.89 in Friday's trading session.

Friday's Volume: 1.74 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 471,462

Volume % Change: 258%

From a technical perspective, ARMK ripped higher here with strong upside volume. This stock recently formed a double bottom chart pattern $27.29 to $27.22. Following that bottom, shares of ARMK have started to uptrend and flirt with new all-time-high territory, after the stock challenged its previous all-time high at $29.89. Shares of ARMK hit an intraday high on Friday of $29.98 before closing at $29.89. Market players should now look for a continuation move higher in the short-term if ARMK manages to take out its all-time high at $29.89 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in ARMK as long as it's trending above Friday's low of $28.73 or above $28 and then once it sustains a move or close above $29.89 with volume that hits near or above 471,462 shares. If that move starts soon, then ARMK will set up to enter new all-time-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that move are $35 to $40.

Advance Auto Parts

Advanced Auto Parts (AAP), through its subsidiaries, operates as a specialty retailer of automotive aftermarket parts, accessories, batteries and maintenance items. This stock closed up 1.2% at $126.33 in Friday's trading session.

Friday's Volume: 1.98 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 873,062

Volume % Change: 114%

From a technical perspective, AAP trended modestly higher here right above some near-term support at $123.36 with above-average volume. This stock has been trending sideways and consolidating for the last two months, with shares moving between $120 on the downside and $129.99 on the upside. This spike higher on Friday is starting to push shares of AAP within range of triggering a big breakout trade above the upper-end of its recent sideways trading chart pattern.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in AAP as long as it's trending above support at $123.36 or above $120 and then once it sustains a move or close above Friday's high of $127.92 to its 52-week high at $129.99 with volume that's near or above 873,062 shares. If that breakout materializes soon, then, AAP will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $135 to $145.

Horizon Pharma

Horizon Pharma (HZNP), a specialty pharmaceutical company, through its subsidiaries, develops and commercializes medicines for the treatment of arthritis, pain and inflammatory diseases. This stock closed up 3.2% at $17.35 in Friday's trading session.

Friday's Volume: 9.50 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 2.32 million

Volume % Change: 317%

From a technical perspective, HZNP popped higher here right off some near-term support at $16 with above-average volume. This stock has been uptrending incredibly strong for the last six months, with shares moving higher from its low of $3.21 to its recent high of $18.30. During that uptrend, shares of HZNP have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. This spike higher on Friday is starting to push shares of HZNP within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if HZNP manages to take out Friday's high of $17.42 to its all-time high of $18.30 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in HZNP as long as it's trending above support at $16 or around $15 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that's near or above 2.32 million shares. If that breakout hits soon, then HZNP will set up to enter new all-time-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $20 to $23.

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.