Stock Quotes in this Article: COH, HCSG, PCYC

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.

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 2.7% to $96.91 in Monday's trading session.

Monday's Volume: 1.68 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 1.42 million

Volume % Change: 50%

From a technical perspective, PCYC bounced notably higher here right off its 50-day moving average of $93.21 with above-average volume. This spike higher on Monday briefly pushed shares of PCYC into breakout territory, since the stock flirted with some near-term overhead resistance at $98. Shares of PCYC tagged an intraday high of $98.29, before closing just below that level at $96.91. Market players should now look for a continuation move to the upside in the short-term if PCYC manages to take out Monday's intraday high of $98.29 to some more near-term resistance at $100 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in PCYC as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $93.21 and then once it sustains a move or close above $98.29 to $100 with volume that hits near or above 1.42 million shares. If that move gets started soon, then PCYC will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $102.50 to $104.38, or even $110 to its 200-day moving average of $114.93.

Healthcare Services Group

Healthcare Service Group (HCSG), together with its subsidiaries, provides housekeeping, laundry, linen, facility maintenance and dietary services to nursing homes, retirement complexes, rehabilitation centers and hospitals in the U.S. This stock closed up 0.5% at $30.39 in Monday's trading session.

Monday's Volume: 513,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 333,331

Volume % Change: 50%

From a technical perspective, HCSG trended modestly higher here right above its 50-day moving average of $29.48 with above-average volume. This uptick higher on Monday briefly pushed shares of HCSG into new 52-week-high territory, after the stock flirted with some near-term overhead resistance at $30.58. Shares of HCSG tagged an intraday high of $30.60, before closing just below that level at $30.39. Market players should now look for a continuation move to the upside in the short-term if HCSG manages to take out its new 52-week high at $30.60 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in HCSG as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $29.48 or above more support near $29 and then once it sustains a move or close above $30.60 with volume that hits near or above 333,331 shares. If that move gets underway soon, then HCSG will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that action are $35 to $40.

Coach

Coach (COH) designs and markets bags, accessories, business cases, footwear, wearables, jewelry, sunwear, travel bags, watches and fragrances for women and men in the U.S. and internationally. This stock closed up 1.9% at $35.82 in Monday's trading session.

Monday's Volume: 9.18 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 6.72 million

Volume % Change: 62%

From a technical perspective, COH spiked higher here with strong upside volume flows. This stock recently broke out above some near-term overhead resistance levels at $34.79 to $34.86, after dropping sharply from its high of $40.97 to its low of $33.60. This breakout has now pushed shares of COH above the upper end of its recent range that develop after that recent sharp decline. Market players should now look for a continuation move higher in the short-term if COH manages to take out Monday's intraday high of $36.40 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in COH as long as it's trending above $35 or $34 and then once it sustains a move or close above $36.40 with volume that hits near or above 6.72 million shares. If that move starts soon, then COH will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at its 50-day moving average of $39.89 to $41.

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.