Stock Quotes in this Article: CRI, PCYC, SFUN

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.

SouFun

SouFun (SFUN) operates a real estate Internet portal as well as a home furnishing and an improvement Website in the People's Republic of China. This stock closed up 10.9% at $12 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 18.68 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 6.98 million

Volume % Change: 156%

From a technical perspective, SFUN exploded higher here right above its 50-day moving average of $10.55 with monster upside volume. This stock has been uptrending strong over the last month and change, with shares moving higher from its low of $8.52 to its intraday high of $12.29. During that uptrend, shares of SFUN have been making mostly higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. Market players should now look for a continuation move to the upside in the near-term if SFUN manages to take out Wednesday's intraday high of $12.29 with strong volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in SFUN as long as it's trending above Wednesday's intraday low of $10.96 and then once it sustains a move or close above $12.29 with volume that hits near or above 6.98 million shares. If that move starts soon, then SFUN will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at its 200-day moving average of $13.32 to $13.40.

Carter's

Carter's (CRI) and its subsidiaries design, source and market branded children's wear under the Carter's, Child of Mine, Just One You, Precious Firsts, OshKosh and other brands. This stock closed up 1.9% to $73.18 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 2.12 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 607,838

Volume % Change: 289%

From a technical perspective, CRI jumped modestly higher here right above its 200-day moving average of $71.37 with above-average volume. This stock recently soared higher back above both its 50-day and 200-day moving averages and into breakout territory above some near-term resistance at $71.28. Market players should now look for a continuation move to the upside in the short-term if CRI manages to take out Wednesday's intraday high of $73.23 to some more key overhead resistance at $74.50 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in CRI as long as it's trending above Wednesday's intraday low of $71.68 or above its 50-day at $70.60 and then once it sustains a move or close above $73.23 to $74.50 with volume that hits near or above 607,838 shares. If that move starts soon, then CRI will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $76.43 to its 52-week high at $80.02.

Pharmacyclics

Pharmacyclics (PCYC), a biopharmaceutical company, designs, develops and commercializes small-molecule drugs for the treatment of cancer and immune mediated diseases in the U.S. and internationally. This stock closed up 7.5% at $103.92 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 1.96 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 1.29 million

Volume % Change: 65%

From a technical perspective, PCYC exploded to the upside and broke out above some key overhead resistance levels at $99.41 to $102.51 with above-average volume. This stock has been uptrending a bit for the last month, with shares moving higher from its low of $86.97 to its intraday high of $107.24. During that move, shares of PCYC have been making mostly higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. Market players should now look for a continuation move to the upside in the short-term if PCYC manages to take out Wednesday's intraday high of $107.24 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in PCYC as long as it's trending above $100 or above $98 and then once it sustains a move or close above $107.24 with volume that's near or above 1.29 million shares. If that move kicks off soon, then PCYC will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $110.50 to its 200-day moving average of $112.90, or even $115 to $120.

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.