Stock Quotes in this Article: ALKS, MYE, SSP, VISN

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.

VisionChina Media

VisionChina Media (VISN), through its subsidiaries, provides advertising services in the People's Republic of China. This stock closed up 17.9% at $24.05 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 386,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 194,282

Volume % Change: 164%

From a technical perspective, VISN gapped sharply higher here with above-average volume. This monster spike higher briefly pushed shares of VISN back above its 50-day moving average of $24.06, before the stock closed just below that level at $24.05. Shares of VISN are now starting to move within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if VISN manages to take out Wednesday's high of $24.66 to some more near-term overhead resistance at $24.88 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in VISN as long as it's trending above Wednesday's low of $22 or above $20 and then once it sustains a move or close above $24.66 to $24.88 with volume that's near or above 194,282 shares. If that breakout kicks off soon, then VISN will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $28.65 to $28.85. Any high-volume move above those levels will then give VISN a chance to tag $30 to $32.

Myers Industries

Myers Industries (MYE) manufactures and sells polymer products for industrial, agricultural, automotive, commercial and consumer markets worldwide. This stock closed up 4% at $20.96 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 298,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 112,963

Volume % Change: 185%

From a technical perspective, MYE ripped sharply higher here right off its 50-day moving average of $19.98 with strong upside volume. This move briefly pushed shares of MYE into breakout territory, after the stock flirted with some near-term overhead resistance at $21.02. Shares of MYE hit an intraday high of $21.49, before closing just below that level at $20.96. This spike higher on Wednesday is starting to push shares of MYE within range of triggering a much bigger breakout trade. That trade will hit if MYE manages to take out Wednesday's high of $21.49 to its 52-week high at $22.23 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in MYE as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $19.98 or above more near-term support at $19.55 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that's near or above 112,963 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then MYE will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $25 to $30.

E.W. Scripps

E.W. Scripps (SSP), together with its subsidiaries, operates as a media enterprise with interests in television stations, newspapers and local and national digital media sites. This stock closed up 3.5% at $18.22 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 895,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 352,974

Volume % Change: 160%

From a technical perspective, SSP spiked notably higher here back above its 200-day moving average of $17.97 with above-average volume. This stock recently sold off sharply after it fell from its high of $22.59 to its low of $15.99. Following that sell off, shares of SSP have started rebound and uptrend, with the stock moving higher from its low of $15.99 to its intraday high of $18.33. This spike higher on Wednesday has started to push shares of SSP within range of triggering a big breakout trade. That trade will hit if SSP manages to take out its 50-day moving average of $18.31 to Wednesday's high of $18.33 with strong upside volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in SSP as long as it's trending above Wednesday's low of $17.61 or above more near-term support at $17.11 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that's near or above 352,974 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then SSP will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $20 to its 52-week high at $22.59.

Alkermes

Alkermes (ALKS), an integrated biopharmaceutical company, develops medicines that enhance patient outcomes. This stock closed up 3.4% at $46.80 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 2.14 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 1.15 million

Volume % Change: 125%

From a technical perspective, ALKS spiked sharply higher here with above-average volume. This stock recently topped out at some near-term overhead resistance levels at $47.56 to $47.97. Following that top, shares of ALKS sold off to its recent low of $41.53. Shares of ALKS have now started to rebound off that $41.53 low and it's now quickly moving within range of triggering a major breakout trade above its previous resistance levels. That trade will hit if ALKS manages to take out some key near-term overhead resistance levels at $47.97 to its 50-day moving average of $48.28 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in ALKS as long as it's trending above some near-term support at $44 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that's near or above 1.15 million shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then ALKS will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $52 to its 52-week high at $54.25.

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.