Stock Quotes in this Article: PRGO, PRIM, VC, ACHC

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.

Acadia Healthcare

Acadia Healthcare (ACHC) develops and operates inpatient psychiatric facilities, residential treatment centers, group homes and substance abuse facilities in the U.S. This stock closed up 1.9% at $47.39 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 782,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 265,852

Volume % Change: 168%

From a technical perspective, ACHC trended modestly higher here with above-average volume. This stock has been uptrending strong for the last six months, with shares soaring higher from its low of $30.70 to its recent high of $49.14. During that uptrend, shares of ACHC have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now pushed shares of ACHC within range of triggering a big breakout trade. That trade will hit if ACHC manages to take out Wednesday's high of $48.35 to its 52-week high at $49.14 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in ACHC as long as it's trending above some key near-term support at $44.32 or above its 50-day at $43.27 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 265,852 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then ACHC will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that move are $55 to $60.

Perrigo

Perrigo (PRGO) is a health care supplier that develops, manufactures and distributes over-the-counter and generic prescription pharmaceuticals, nutritional products, active pharmaceutical ingredients and pharmaceutical and medical diagnostic products. This stock closed up 1.5% to $155.67 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 9.79 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 1.15 million

Volume % Change: 768%

From a technical perspective, PRGO spiked modestly higher here with heavy upside volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of PRGO within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit if PRGO manages to take out Wednesday's high of $156.47 to its 52-week high at $157.47 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in PRGO as long as it's trending above Wednesday's low of $153.02 or above some more key near-term support at $149.12 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 1.15 million shares. If that breakout hits soon, then PRGO will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $165 to $170.

Primoris Services

Primoris Services (PRIM) provides services including construction, fabrication, maintenance, replacement, water and wastewater and product engineering services. This stock closed up 3% at $29.16 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 785,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 203,239

Volume % Change: 281%

From a technical perspective, PRIM spiked notably higher here right above its 50-day moving average of $27.25 with heavy upside volume. This move pushed shares of PRIM into breakout and new 52-week high territory, since the stock took out some near-term overhead resistance at $29.10. Market players should now look for a continuation move higher in the short-term for shares of PRIM if the stock manages to clear Wednesday's high of $29.79 with bullish upside volume flows.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in PRIM as long as it's trending above Wednesday's low of $27.99 or its 50-day at $27.25 and then once it sustains a move or close above $29.79 with volume that hits near or above 203,239 shares. If we get that action soon, then PRIM will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that move are $34 to $35.

Visteon

Visteon (VC) is a supplier of automotive systems, modules and components to original equipment manufacturers. This stock closed up 1% at $79.39 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 1.03 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 515,964

Volume % Change: 103%

From a technical perspective, VC spiked modestly higher here right above its 50-day moving average of $77.02 with above-average volume. This stock has been uptrending for the last three months and change, with shares moving higher from its low of $69.49 to its recent high of $79.62. During that uptrend, shares of VC have been making mostly higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now pushed shares of VC within range of triggering a big breakout trade. That trade will hit if VC manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $79.58 to its 52-week high at $79.62 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in VC as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $77.02 or above more near-term support at $76.42 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 515,964 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then VC will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $85 to $87.

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.