Stock Quotes in this Article: ARMH, ASGN, TJX

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.

On Assignment

On Assignment (ASGN) provides short- and long-term placement of contract, contract-to-hire and direct hire professionals in the U.S., Europe, Canada, China, Australia and New Zealand. This stock closed up 1.4% at $35.31 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 1.15 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 386,568

Volume % Change: 188%

From a technical perspective, ASGN trended modestly higher here right above some near-term support levels at $34.27 to its 200-day moving average of $33.53 with above-average volume. This spike higher on Wednesday is starting to push shares of ASGN within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if ASGN manages to take out its 50-day moving average of $36.04 to some more near-term overhead resistance at $36.95 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in ASGN as long as it's trending above some key near-term support levels at $34.27 or above its 200-day a $33.53 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that's near or above 386,568 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then ASGN will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $38.05 to $38.18. Any high-volume move above those levels will then give ASGN a chance to re-test or possibly take out its 52-week high at $39.86.

ARM Holdings

ARM Holdings (ARMH), together with its subsidiaries, designs microprocessors, physical intellectual property and related technology and software. This stock closed up 3.5% at $44.35 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 5.62 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 1.54 million

Volume % Change: 250%

From a technical perspective, ARMH ripped higher here right above its recent low of $42.27 with strong upside volume flows. This stock has been downtrending badly for the last month and change, with shares moving lower from its high of $52.71 to its low of $42.27. During that downtrend, shares of ARMH have been making mostly lower highs and lower lows, which is bearish technical price action. That said, shares of ARMH have now started to bounce off that $42.27 low and it looks ready to reverse its recent downtrend and enter a new uptrend. Market players should now look for a continuation move higher in the short-term if ARMH manages to take out Wednesday's high of $44.40 with strong upside volume flows.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in ARMH as long as it's trending above Wednesday's low of $43.38 or above its recent low of $42.27 and then once it sustains a move or close above $44.40 with volume that's near or above 1.54 million shares. If we get that move soon, then ARMH will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $46.54 to its 50-day moving average of $47.49. Any high-volume move above those levels will then give ARMH a chance to tag its next major overhead resistance levels at $49 to $50.27.

TJX Companies

TJX Companies (TJX) operates as an off-price apparel and home fashions retailer in the U.S. and internationally. This stock closed up 4.9% at $56.60 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 11.88 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 3.62 million

Volume % Change: 199%

From a technical perspective, TJX bounced sharply higher here right above its recent low of $53.87 with heavy upside volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of TJX within range of triggering a big breakout trade. That trade will hit if TJX manages to take out its recent gap-down-day high of $56.90 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in TJX as long as it's trending above Wednesday's low of $54.31 and then once it sustains a move or close above $56.90 with volume that's near or above 3.62 million shares. If that breakout hits soon, then TJX will set up to re-fill some of its recent gap-down-day zone that started just above $58.

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.