Stock Quotes in this Article: APC, CNQ, TIVO, CARB

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.

Carbonite

Carbonite (CARB) is a provider of online backup solutions for consumers and small and medium sized businesses. This stock closed up 5.5% to $14.50 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 514,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 94,752

Volume % Change: 427%

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From a technical perspective, CARB bounced sharply higher here right above its 50-day moving average of $13.29 with heavy upside volume. This move pushed shares of CARB into breakout territory, since the stock closed above its previous 52-week high at $14.10. This stock has been uptrending strong for the last four months, with shares pushing higher from its low of $9.54 to its intraday high of $14.50. During that uptrend, shares of CARB have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in CARB as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $13.29 or above more support at $13 and then once it sustains a move or close above Wednesday's high of $14.50 with volume that hits near or above 94,752 shares. If we get that move soon, then CARB will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that move are $16 to $18.

TiVo

TiVo (TIVO) develops and provides software, technology, in-home and outside-of-the-home cloud-based video solutions for DVRs, non-DVR set-top boxes, tablets, smart phones and other consumer electronics. This stock closed up 5.5% to $11.58 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 10.91 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 3.46 million

Volume % Change: 356%

Shares of TIVO ripped higher on Wednesday after the company reported a fiscal second-quarter profit that was boosted by gains from royalty and settlement payments from Cisco Systems (CSCO) and Motorola.

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From a technical perspective, TIVO spiked sharply higher here back above its 50-day moving average of $11.17 with heavy upside volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of TIVO within range of triggering a big breakout trade. That trade will hit if TIVO manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at its 200-day moving average of $11.87 to more resistance at $11.88 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in TIVO as long as it's trending above Wednesday's low of $11.03 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 3.46 million shares. If that breakout hits soon, then TIVO will set up to re-fill some of its previous gap down zone from June that started at $14.10.

Anadarko Petroleum

Anadarko Petroleum (APC) is engaged in the exploration and production of oil and natural gas. This stock closed up 1.8% to $92.58 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 4.06 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 2.86 million

Volume % Change: 95%

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From a technical perspective, APC ripped higher here right above some near-term support at $90 with above-average volume. This move briefly pushed shares of APC into breakout territory, since the stock flirted with its previous 52-week high at $92.90. At last check, APC hit an intraday high of $93.14 with volume that was well above its three-month average action of 2.86 million shares, but the stock closed below that level at $92.58.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in APC as long as it's trending above Wednesday's low of $91.25 and then once it sustains a move or close above its new 52-week high at $93.14 with volume that hits near or above 2.86 million shares. If we get that move soon, then APC will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that move are $95 to $100.

Canadian Natural Resources

Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ) is a Canada-based independent energy company engaged in the acquisition, exploration, development, production, marketing and sale of crude oil, NGLs, and natural gas production. This stock closed up 3.7% at $31.43 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 4.13 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 2.29 million

Volume % Change: 135%

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From a technical perspective, CNQ ripped sharply higher here right off its 50-day moving average of $30.48 with strong upside volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of CNQ within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if CNQ manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance at $31.72 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in CNQ as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $30.48 or above its 200-day at $29.84 and then once it sustains a move or close above $31.72 with volume that's near or above 2.29 million shares. If that breakout hits soon, then CNQ will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $33.64 to its 52-week high at $35.12.

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.