Stock Quotes in this Article: POT, PRAA, EMES, PBA

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.

Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan

Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan (POT) is an integrated fertilizer and related industrial and feed products company. This stock closed up 3.4% to $30.97 in Monday's trading session.

Monday's Volume: 24.23 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 10.53 million

Volume % Change: 162%

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From a technical perspective, POT bounced higher here right off some near-term support at $30 with heavy upside volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of POT within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit if POT manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance at $31.29 and then once it clears its gap down day high from a few weeks ago at $31.89 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in POT as long as it's trending above some near-term support at $30 or above more support at $29 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 10.53 million shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then POT will set up to re-fill some of its previous gap down zone that started at $38.09. Some possible upside targets if POT gets into that gap with volume are $34 to $35.

Emerge Energy Services

Emerge Energy Services (EMES) is engaged in the ownership, operation and acquisition and development of a portfolio of energy service assets. This stock closed up 5.3% at $25.80 in Monday's trading session.

Monday's Volume: 649,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 204,875

Volume % Change: 210%

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From a technical perspective, EMES ripped higher here right above some near-term support at $24.30 with above-average volume. This stock has been uptrending strong for the last three months, with shares soaring higher from its low of $16.19 to its all-time high hit on Monday at $26.50. During that move, shares of EMES have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. Shares of EMES triggered a breakout here after the stock took out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $25.45 to $25.49.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in EMES as long as it's trending above some near-term support levels at $25 or at $24.30 and then once it sustains a move or close above its new all-time high at $26.50 with volume that hits near or above 204,875 shares. If we get that move soon, then EMES will set up to enter new all-time high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that move are $30 to $35.

Portfolio Recovery Associates

Portfolio Recovery Associates (PRAA) is engaged in the business of purchasing, managing and collecting portfolios of defaulted consumer receivables, as well as offering accounts receivable management and payment services. This stock closed up 3.8% to $54.53 in Monday's trading session.

 

Monday's Volume: 629,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 435,466

Volume % Change: 50%

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From a technical perspective, PRAA jumped higher here and broke out above some near-term overhead resistance levels at $53 to $54.62 with above-average volume. This move also pushed shares of PRAA into new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. If this breakout holds, then shares of PRAA could be setting up to trend significantly higher.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in PRAA as long as it's trending above Monday's low of $52.71 to $52 and then once it sustains a move or close above its new 52-week high at $54.93 with volume that hits near or above 435,466 shares. If we get that move soon, then PRAA will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that move are $60 to $65.

Pembina Pipeline

Pembina Pipeline (PBA) is a Calgary-based company engaged in providing transportation and midstream services. This stock closed up 4% at $31.93 in Monday's trading session.

Monday's Volume: 336,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 183,066

Volume % Change: 86%

From a technical perspective, PBA ripped higher here right off its 50-day moving average of $31.20 with above-average volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of PBA within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if PBA manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $31.94 to $32.28 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in PBA as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $31.20 or above more near-term support at $30.50 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that's near or above 183,066 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then PBA will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $33.51 to its 52-week high at $34.70. Any high-volume move above $34.70 will then give PBA a chance to trend well north of $35.

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.