Stock Quotes in this Article: DMND, ICAD, XXIA

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 today.

Diamond Foods

Diamond Foods (DMND) is a food company that deals in processing, marketing and distributing culinary, in-shell, ingredient nuts and snack products. This stock closed up 6.8% to $25.79 in Friday's trading session.

Friday's Volume: 1.36 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 376,761

Volume % Change: 260%

From a technical perspective, DMND soared higher here right off its 50-day moving average of $23.39 with strong upside volume. This move pushed shares of DMND into breakout and new 52-week-high territory, since the stock took out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $25.07 to $25.32. Market players should now look for a continuation move higher in the short-term if DMND manages to clear its new 52-week high at $26.23 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in DMND as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $23.39 and then once it sustains a move or close above $26.23 with volume that hits near or above 376,761 shares. If we get that move soon, then DMND will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance level at $28.29. Any high-volume move above that level will then give DMND a chance to re-fill some of its previous gap down zone from February of 2012 that started near $35.

iCAD

iCAD (ICAD) is a provider of image analysis and work flow solutions that enable radiologists and other health care professionals to better serve patients by identifying pathologies and pinpointing cancer early. This stock closed up 22% to $10.50 in Friday's trading session.

Friday's Volume: 440,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 127,442

Volume % Change: 202%

From a technical perspective, ICAD exploded higher here right above some near-term support at $8.50 with strong upside volume. This move pushed shares of ICAD into breakout and new 52-week high territory, since the stock took out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $9.12 to $10.18. Market players should now look for a continuation move higher in the short-term if ICAD can manage to clear its new 52-week high at $10.55 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in ICAD as long as it's trending above some key resistance levels at $9.90 or at $9.12 and then once it sustains a move or close above $10.55 with volume that hits near or above 127,442 shares. If we get that move soon, then ICAD will set up to enter new 52-week high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that move are $13 to $14.

Ixia

Ixia (XXIA) provides Internet protocol network validation and network visibility solutions. This stock closed up 8.8% at $13.07 in Friday's trading session.

Friday's Volume: 1.62 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 616,500

Volume % Change: 174%

From a technical perspective, XXIA ripped sharply higher here right off some near-term support at $11.89 with heavy upside volume. This stock has been downtrending for the last month and change, with shares plunging lower from its high of $16.33 to its low of $11.89. During that move, shares of XXIA have been consistently making lower highs and lower lows, which is bearish technical price action. That said, this move on Friday looks to have put an end to the downside volatility for XXIA in the short-term.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in XXIA as long as it's trending above $12.50 or above Friday's low of $12.01, and then once it sustains a move or close above Friday's high of $13.13 with volume that hits near or above 616,500 shares. If we get that move soon, then XXIA will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $13.84 to $14.12, or its 50-day moving average at $14.31. Any high-volume move above $14.31 will then give XXIA a chance to tag $15.50.

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.