Stock Quotes in this Article: CKEC, GLP, JCP, VOCS

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.

Major moves in volume can signal unusual activity, such as insider buying or selling -- or buying or selling by “superinvestors.”

>>5 Stocks Poised for Breakouts

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.

With that in mind, let's take a look at several stocks rising on unusual volume today.

>>5 Rocket Stocks to Buy as Stocks Drop

J.C. Penny

J.C. Penny's (JCP) business consists of selling merchandise and services to consumers through its department stores and direct channels. It sells family apparel and footwear, accessories and fine and fashion jewelry. This stock is trading up 8.7% at $16.83 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 21.60 million

Average Volume: 12.43 million

Volume % Change: 179%

From a technical perspective, JCP is spiking higher here right above some near-term support around $15 with heavy upside volume. This stock recently gapped down from around $21 to $16.57 with heavy downside volume. Following that gap, shares of JCP continued to move lower and hit a recent low of $14.20. This stock has now started to rebound and uptrend off that $14.20 low and it’s quickly moving within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if JCP manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $16.33 to $18 and then once it clears its 50-day moving average of $18.67 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in JCP as long as it’s trending above $16.33, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 12.43 million shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then JCP will set up to re-fill some of its previous gap down zone from last month that started near $21.

Carmike Cinemas

Carmike Cinemas (CKEC) is a motion picture exhibitor in the U.S. that owns and operates over 200 theaters with 2,277 screens located in 35 states. This stock is trading up 5.8% at $17.67 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 396,000

Average Volume: 136,885

Volume % Change: 315%

From a technical perspective, CKEC is trending higher here right above its 50-day moving average of $16.06 with above-average volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of CKEC within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if CKEC manages to take out its 52-week high of $17.83 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in CKEC as long as it’s trending above its 50-day at $16.06 or today’s low of $16.63, and then once it sustains a move or close above its 52-week high of $17.83 with high volume that hits near or above 136,885 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then CKEC will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $20 to $23.

Global Partners LP

Global Partners LP (GLP) owns, controls or has access to refined petroleum products in the Northeast. It is also a wholesale distributor of gasoline, distillates and residual oil to wholesalers, retailers and commercial customers. This stock is trading up 3.3% to $37.23 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 83,000

Average Volume: 69,672

Volume % Change: 101%

From a technical perspective, GLP is bouncing higher here right off some near-term support at $35.06 with above-average volume. This stock has been uptrending strong for the last three months, with shares soaring higher from its low of $21.80 to its recent high of $37.88. During that move, shares of GLP have been mostly making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now pushed shares of GLP within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if GLP manages to take out its 52-week high of $37.88 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in GLP as long as it’s trending above $35.06, and then once it sustains a move or close above its 52-week high of $37.88 with volume that hits near or above 69,672 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then GLP will set up to enter new 52-week high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $40 to $43.

Vocus

Vocus (VOCS) is a provider of cloud marketing software that helps businesses attract, engage and retain customers. This stock is trading up 5% at $13.69 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 361,000

Average Volume: 220,308

Volume % Change: 115%

From a technical perspective, VOCS is ripping higher here right above $13 with above-average volume. This stock has been downtrending badly for the last two months, with shares dropping from its high of $18.03 to its recent low of $12.34. During that move, shares of VOCS have been mostly making lower highs and lower lows, which is bearish technical price action. That said, VOCS has now started to bounce off that $12.34 low and it’s quickly moving within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if VOCS manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $14.25 to $14.50 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in VOCS as long as it’s trending above $13, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 220,308 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then VOCS will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at its 50-day moving average of $15.27 to $15.57 and $15.83.

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.

RELATED LINKS:

>>5 Earning Stocks the Bears Love to Hate
>>4 Big Stocks to Trade (or Not)

>>5 Dow Dogs That Could Stomp the Market in 2013

Follow Stockpickr on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.

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.