Stock Quotes in this Article: WHR, YHOO, NYLD

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.

Yahoo!

Yahoo! (YHOO) operates as a technology company worldwide. This stock closed up 3.3% at $34.71 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 37.86 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 19.69 million

Volume % Change: 195%

From a technical perspective, YHOO ripped higher here with strong upside volume flows. This sharp spike higher to the upside on Wednesday briefly pushed shares of YHOO back above its 50-day moving average of $34.74, before the stock closed just below that level at $34.71. Market players should now look for a continuation move to the upside in the short-term if YHOO manages to take out Wednesday's intraday high of $34.92 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in YHOO as long as it's trending above Wednesday's intraday low of $33.68 and then once it sustains a move or close above $34.92 with volume that hits near or above 19.69 million shares. If that move gets underway soon, then YHOO will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $35.95 to its 200-day moving average of $36.21, or even $37.

Whirlpool

Whirlpool (WHR) manufactures and markets home appliances and related products worldwide. This stock closed up 1.4% at $145.24 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 5.95 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 989,506

Volume % Change: 517%

From a technical perspective, WHR jumped to the upside here back above both its 50-day and 200-day moving averages with monster upside volume flows. This sharp spike higher on Wednesday pushed shares of WHR into breakout territory, since the stock took out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $144.32 to $145. Shares of WHR are now quickly moving within range of triggering another big breakout trade. That trade will hit if WHR manages to take out Wednesday's intraday high of $145.34 to some more key overhead resistance at $148 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in WHR as long as it's trending above its 50-day moving average at $141.79 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that's near or above 989,506 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then WHR will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $155 to $156.

NRG Yield

NRG Yield (NYLD), through its subsidiaries, acquires, owns and operates contracted renewable and conventional generation, and thermal infrastructure assets in the U.S. This stock closed up 5.2% at $54.38 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 1.21 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 407,005

Volume % Change: 228%

From a technical perspective, NYLD ripped sharply higher here right above some near-term support at $50 and above its 50-day moving average of $49.41 with strong upside volume flows. This move briefly pushed shares of NYLD into breakout and new 52-week-high territory, since the stock flirted with some key near-term overhead resistance at $55.10. Shares of NYLD tagged an intraday high of $55.15, before pulling back and closing at $54.38. Market players should now look for a continuation move to the upside in the short-term if NYLD manages to take out Wednesday's intraday high of $55.15 with strong volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in NYLD as long as it's trending above Wednesday's low of $51.70 and then once it sustains a move or close above $55.15 with volume that's near or above 407,005 shares. If we get that move soon, then NYLD will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that move are $60 to $65.

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.