Stock Quotes in this Article: AOL, BRLI, NXPI

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.

AOL

AOL (AOL) provides various digital brands, products and services to consumers, advertisers, publishers and subscribers worldwide. This stock closed up 3.7% to $43.83 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 3.61 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 1.47 million

Volume % Change: 165%

From a technical perspective, AOL spiked higher here right above some near-term support at $41.71 with above-average volume. This move briefly pushed shares of AOL into breakout territory, after the stock flirted with some near-term overhead resistance levels at $44.34 and its 50-day moving average of $45.30. Shares of AOL hit an intraday high of $45.86 before closing below those breakout levels at $43.83. Market players should now look for a continuation move higher in the short-term if AOL manages to take out Wednesday's high of $45.86 with strong volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in AOL as long as it's trending above Wednesday's low of $42.66 or above more support at $41.71 and then once it sustains a move or close above $45.86 with volume that hits near or above 1.47 million shares. If we get that move soon, then AOL will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $48 to $52, or even its 52-week high at $53.28.

NXP Semiconductors

NXP Semiconductors (NXPI) provides high-performance mixed signal and standard product solutions for radio frequency, analog, power management, interface, security and digital processing products worldwide. This stock closed up 2% to $58.09 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 5.04 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 3.24 million

Volume % Change: 56%

From a technical perspective, NXPI jumped notably higher here with above-average volume. This stock recently formed a double bottom chart pattern at $55.90 to $56.13. Following that bottom, shares of NXPI have started to uptrend and move within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if NXPI manages to take out Wednesday's high of $60.31 to its 52-week high at $60.48 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in NXPI as long as it's trending above Wednesday's low of $57.43 or above more support at $55.90 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 3.24 million shares. If that breakout gets underway soon, then NXPI will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $65 to $70.

Bio-Reference Laboratories

Bio-Reference Laboratories (BRLI) provides clinical laboratory testing services for the detection, diagnosis, evaluation, monitoring and treatment of diseases primarily in the greater New York metropolitan area. This stock closed up 3.6% at $28.26 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 473,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 323,530

Volume % Change: 65%

From a technical perspective, BRLI jumped sharply higher here and broke out above some near-term overhead resistance at $27.89 with above-average volume. This move briefly pushed shares of BRLI back above its 200-day moving average of $28.32 before the stock closed just below that level at $28.26. Market players should now look for a continuation move higher in the short-term if BRLI manages to take out Wednesday's high of $29.02 with strong volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in BRLI as long as it's trending above Wednesday's low of $27.39 or above its 50-day at $26.28 and then once it sustains a move or close above $29.02 with volume that's near or above 323,530 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then BRLI will set up to re-fill some of its previous gap-down-day zone from last November that started near $35.

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.