Stock Quotes in this Article: BIO, DISH, MA, NTRS

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 recently.

MasterCard

MasterCard (MA), together with its subsidiaries, provides transaction processing and other payment-related services in the U.S. and internationally. This stock closed up 1.7% to $83.30 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 7.20 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 651,511

Volume % Change: 1048%

From a technical perspective, MA trended modestly higher here right above some near-term support at $81.40 with monster upside volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of MA within range of triggering a big breakout trade. That trade will hit if MA manages to take out Wednesday's high of $83.90 to its 52-week high at $84.75 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in MA as long as it's trending above some near-term support at $81.40 and then once it sustains a move or close above its those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 651,511 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then MA will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $90 to $95.

Bio-Rad Laboratories

Bio-Rad Laboratories (BIO) manufactures and supplies products and systems used to separate complex chemical and biological materials, and to identify, analyze, and purify their components for life science research, healthcare, analytical chemistry, and other markets. This stock closed up 0.44% to $128.48 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 447,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 89,373

Volume % Change: 401%

From a technical perspective, BIO trended modestly higher here right off some near-term support at $128 with strong upside volume. This move is starting to push shares of BIO within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if BIO manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $130 to $131 and then once it takes out its 52-week high at $133 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in BIO as long as it's trending above some near-term support at $127.49 or above $125 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 89,373 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then BIO will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory above $133, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $140 to $150.

Northern Trust

Northern Trust (NTRS), through its subsidiaries, provides asset servicing, fund administration, asset management, fiduciary, and banking solutions worldwide. This stock closed up 3.3% at $62.61 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 4.2 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 1.14 million

Volume % Change: 263%

From a technical perspective, NTRS spiked notably higher here right above some near-term support at $60.26 with above-average volume. This move pushed shares of NTRS into breakout and new 52-week-high territory, after the stock took out some near-term overhead resistance at $62.38. Market players should now look for a continuation move higher in the short-term if NTRS manages to take out Wednesday's high of $63 with strong volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in NTRS as long as it's trending above some near-term support at $60.26 or above its 50-day at $59.30 and then once it sustains a move or close above Wednesday's high of $63 with volume that this near or above 1.14 million shares. If we get that move soon, then NTRS will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that move are $68 to $70.

Dish Network

Dish Network (DISH), together with its subsidiaries, offers direct broadcast satellite subscription television services in the U.S. This stock closed up 4.6% at $56.63 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 9.46 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 2.54 million

Volume % Change: 247%

From a technical perspective, DISH spiked sharply higher here right off its 50-day moving average of $54.36 with strong upside volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of DISH within range of triggering a big breakout trade. That trade will hit if DISH manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $57.57 to its 52-week high at $58.55 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in DISH as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $54.36 or above $53 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 2.54 million shares. If that breakout hits soon, then DISH will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $65 to $70.

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.