Stock Quotes in this Article: CTRN, WBMD, ICPT, CNCO

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.

Citi Trends

Citi Trends (CTRN) is a value-priced retailer of urban fashion apparel and accessories for the entire family. This stock closed up 3.1% at $17.31 in Friday's trading session.

Friday's Volume: 297,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 81,989

Volume % Change: 241%

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From a technical perspective, CTRN jumped higher here right off some near-term support at $16.50 with above-average volume. This move pushed shares of CTRN into breakout territory, since the stock took out some near-term overhead resistance and its former 52-week high at $17.29.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in CTRN as long as it's trending above $16.50 or some more near-term support at $16.14, and then once it sustains a move or close above Friday's high of $17.35 with volume that hits near or above 81,989 shares. If we get that move soon, then CTRN will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that move are $20 to $22.

Intercept Pharmaceuticals

Intercept Pharmaceuticals (ICPT) focused on the development and commercialization of novel therapeutics to treat chronic liver disease utilizing its proprietary bile acid chemistry. This stock closed up 2.8% at $48.14 in Friday's trading session.

Friday's Volume: 222,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 96,544

Volume % Change: 174%

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From a technical perspective, ICPT jumped higher here right off its 50-day moving average of $46.45 and it broke out above some near-term overhead resistance levels at $46.93 to $47.33 with heavy upside volume. This stock has been uptrending strong for the last month, with shares moving higher from its low of $42.41 to its intraday high of $48.59. During that move, shares of ICPT have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in ICPT as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $46.45 or above Friday's low of $45.55 and then once it sustains a move or close above Friday's high of $48.59 with volume that hits near or above 96,544 shares. If we get that move soon, then ICPT will set up to re-test or possibly take out its 52-week high at $52.47.

Cencosud

Cencosud (CNCO) is a multi-brand retailer that manages and operates a network of supermarkets, home centers, department stores, shopping malls and financial services. This stock closed up 3.3% at $12.46 in Friday's trading session.

Friday's Volume: 582,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 161,298

Volume % Change: 250%

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From a technical perspective, CNCO bounced higher here right above some near-term support at $11.63 with heavy upside volume. This stock has been downtrending badly for the last six months, with shares plunging from over $19 to its recent low of $11.63. During that downtrend, shares of CNCO have been mostly making lower highs and lower lows, which is bearish technical price action. That move has pushed shares of CNCO into oversold territory, since the stock recently saw its relative strength index reading hit 30. Oversold can always get more oversold, but it's also an area where a stock can experience a sharp bounce higher from.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in CNCO as long as it's trending above Friday's low of $12.09 or above that support area at $11.63, and then once it sustains a move or close above Friday's high of $12.46 to $13 with volume that's near or above 161,298 shares. If we get that move soon, then CNCO will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at its 50-day of $13.54 to around $15. Any high-volume move above $15 will then give CNCO a chance to tag its 200-day at $16.15.

WebMD Health

WebMD Health (WBMD) provides health information services to consumers, physicians and other health care professionals, employers and health plans through its public and private online portals and health-focused publications. This stock closed up 0.55% at $33.09 in Friday's trading session.

Friday's Volume: 1.76 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 764,370

Volume % Change: 125%

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From a technical perspective, WBMD jumped modestly higher here right above some near-term support at $32 and right above its 50-day moving average at $31.29 with above-average volume. This stock recently pulled right back to its 50-day moving average at $31.29, and since then it has started to uptrend towards its intraday high of $33.24. That move is quickly pushing shares of WBMD within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit if WBMD manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance at $34.17 and then once it clears its 52-week high at $35.28 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in WBMD as long as it's trending above support at $32 or above its 50-day at $31.29 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that's near or above 764,370 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then WBMD will set up to enter news 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action .Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $40 to $45.

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.