Stock Quotes in this Article: ADTN, CREE, TTWO

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.

Adtran

Atran (ADTN) designs, manufactures, markets, services and supports communications network solutions that enable voice, data, video and Internet communications across various network infrastructures in the U.S. and internationally. This stock closed up 4.4% at $27.24 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 2.22 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 536,274

Volume % Change: 313%

From a technical perspective ADTN ripped higher here back above its 50-day moving average of $25.57 with strong upside volume. This move briefly pushed shares of ADTN into breakout and new 52-week-high territory, after the stock flirted with some near-term overhead resistance levels at $27.27 to $27.82. Shares of ADTN closed just below both of those levels at $27.24. Market players should now look for a continuation move higher in the short-term if ADTN can manage to take out Wednesday's high of $27.98 with strong volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in ADTN as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $25.57 and then once it sustains a move or close above $27.98 with volume that's near or above 536,274 shares. If we get that move soon, then ADTN will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that move are its next major overhead resistance levels at $30.24 to $30.72, or even $32.

Take-Two Interactive Software

Take-Two Interactive Software (TTWO) develops, publishes and markets interactive entertainment for consumers worldwide. This stock closed up 7.2% at $18.65 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 6.87 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 2.62 million

Volume % Change: 221%

From a technical perspective, TTWO soared higher here right off its 50-day moving average of $17.27 with strong upside volume. This move pushed shares of TTWO into breakout territory, since the stock took out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $18.27 to $18.48. Shares of TTWO are now quickly moving within range of triggering another big breakout trade. That trade will hit if TTWO manages to take out some more key overhead resistance levels at $18.88 to its 52-week high at $19.25 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in TTWO as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $17.27 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that's near or above 2.62 million shares. If that breakout hits soon, then TTWO will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $23 to $25.

Cree

Cree (CREE) develops, manufactures and sells lighting-class LED, lighting and semiconductor products for power and radio-frequency applications in the U.S., China, Europe, South Korea, Japan, Malaysia and Taiwan. This stock closed up 7.1% to $67.33 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 6.42 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 2.28 million

Volume % Change: 220%

From a technical perspective, CREE soared sharply higher here right above its 200-day moving average of $61.80 with heavy upside volume. This move briefly pushed shares of CREE into breakout territory, after the stock flirted with some near-term overhead resistance at $67.72. Market players should now look for a continuation move higher in the short-term if CREE manages to take out Wednesday's high of $67.98 with strong volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in CREE as long as it's trending above $64 or above its 200-day at $61.80 and then once it sustains a move or close above $67.98 with volume that hits near or above 2.28 million shares. If we get that move soon, then CREE will set up to re-fill some of its previous gap-down-day zone from last October that started at $75.98.

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.