Stock Quotes in this Article: ARTC, GIL, SODA, HMST

WINDERMERE, Fla. (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.

Gildan Activewear (GIL)

This is a marketer and vertically-integrated globally manufacturer of basic, non-fashion apparel products for customers requiring an efficient supply chain and consistent product quality for high-volume replenishment programs. This stock is trading up 2.4% at $34.98 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 438,000

Average Volume: 332,223

Volume % Change: 96%

From a technical perspective, GIL is trending higher here right above its 50-day moving average of $33.11 with above-average volume. This move has started to push GIL into breakout territory, since the stock has challenged some near-term overhead resistance levels at $34.27 to $35.11. At last check, GIL has hit an intraday high of $35.21 and volume is well above its three-month average action of 332,223 shares.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in GIL as long as it's trending above those breakout levels with strong upside volume flows. I would consider any upside volume day that registers near or above 332,223 shares as bullish. If GIL can maintain that trend, then this stock will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $36.85 to $37.43.

HomeStreet (HMST)

This company operates as a full-service community bank serving consumers and businesses in the Pacific Northwest and Hawaii. This stock is trading up 4% at $24.50 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 96,000

Average Volume: 84,739

Volume % Change: 50%

From a technical perspective, HMST is spiking higher here right above some near-term support at $22.77 with above-average volume. This move is pushing the stock into all-time high territory, since HMST has taken out some near-term overhead resistance at $23.85 to $24. At last check, HMST has hit an intraday high of $24.68 and volume is just starting to surpass its three-month average action of 84,739 shares.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in HMST as long as it's trending near or above $22.77, and then once it sustains a move or close above $23.85 to $24 with volume that hits near or above 84,739 shares. If HMST can maintain that trend, then some possible upside targets are $28 to $30 in the near future.

SodaStream International (SODA)

This company is engaged in developing, manufacturing and marketing home beverage carbonation systems and related products. This stock is trading up 2% at $39.44 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 614,000

Average Volume: 712,019

Volume % Change: 50%

From a technical perspective, SODA is trending higher here and breaking out above some near-term overhead resistance at $39 with decent volume. This move is quickly pushing SODA within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit once SODA manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $40.69 to $41.63 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in SODA as long as it's trending near or above $39, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 712,019 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then SODA will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $44.50 to $48.13.

ArthroCare (ARTC)

This company is a multi-business medical device company that develops, manufactures and markets invasive surgical products. This stock is trading up 2% at $33.46 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 193,000

Average Volume: 136,118

Volume % Change: 117%

From a technical perspective, ARTC is spiking higher here right above its 50-day moving average of $31.94 with above-average volume. This stock has been uptrending strongly for the past month, with shares moving from a low of $29.33 to a recent high of $33.75. During that uptrend, shares of ARTC have been mostly making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now pushed ARTC within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit once ARTC manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $33.75 to $33.78 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in ARTC as long as it's trending above $32.50, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 136,118 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then ARTC will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $35 to $36.

To see more stocks rising on unusual volume, check out the Stocks Rising On Unusual Volume portfolio on Stockpickr.

-- Written by Roberto Pedone in Winderemere, Fla.

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At the time of publication, author had no positions in stocks mentioned.

Roberto Pedone, based out of Windermere, Fla., 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.