Stock Quotes in this Article: GDP, RKT, STZ, WAGE

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.”

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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.

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WageWorks

WageWorks (WAGE) operates as an on-demand provider of tax-advantaged programs for consumer-directed health, and commuter and other employee spending account benefits in the U.S. This stock is trading up 4.8% at $22.28 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 212,000

Average Volume: 172,272

Volume % Change: 126%

From a technical perspective, WAGE is spiking higher here right above some near-term support at $21.03 with above-average volume. This stock has been uptrending strong for the last two months, with shares soaring higher from its low of $17.32 to its intraday high of $22.69. During that move, shares of WAGE have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now started to push shares of WAGE within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade, which will hit if WAGE manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $22.59 to $22.69 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in WAGE as long as it’s trending above $21.03 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 172,272 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then WAGE will set up to enter new all-time-high territory, above $22.69. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $24 to $25.

Goodrich Petroleum

Goodrich Petroleum (GDP) explores, exploits, develops and produces oil and natural gas properties in East Texas and Northwest Louisiana. This stock is trading up 7.6% to $12.84 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 1.74 million

Average Volume: 1.10 million

Volume % Change: 143%

From a technical perspective, GDP is soaring higher here back above its 200-day moving average of $12.05 with above-average volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of GDP within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if GDP manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $13.84 to $13.95 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in GDP as long as it’s trending above its 200-day at $12.05, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 1.10 million shares. If that breakout hits soon, then GDP will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $15.06 to $15.19. Any high-volume move above $15.19 will then put $16.88 to $17.35 into range for shares of GDP.

Constellation Brands

Constellation Brands (STZ) operates as a wine company in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Australia and New Zealand. This stock is trading up 1.1% at $42.25 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 5.79 million

Average Volume: 4.24 million

Volume % Change: 156%

From a technical perspective, STZ is bouncing higher here right above some near-term support at $41.13 with above-average volume. This stock recently gapped up huge from around $32 to $44.20 with heavy upside volume. Following that gap up, shares of STZ have consolidated around $42 to $41 and its now quickly moving within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if STZ manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance at $44.20 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in STZ as long as it’s trending above $41.13 to $40 and then once it sustains a move or close above $44.20 with volume that hits near or above 4.24 million shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then STZ will set up to enter new 52-week high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $48 to $50.

Rock-Tenn

Rock-Tenn (RKT) is a leading integrated manufacturers of corrugated & consumer packaging in North America. This stock is trading up 4.6% at $83.25 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 1.46 million

Average Volume: 573,418

Volume % Change: 226%

From a technical perspective, RKT is ripping higher here right above some near-term support at $77.09 with above-average volume. This stock has been uptrending strong for the last three months, with shares soaring higher from its low of $61.06 to its intraday high of $84.68. During that move, shares of RKT have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now started to push shares of RKT into breakout territory, since the stock has flirted with some near-term overhead resistance at $84.10. At last check, RKT has hit an intraday high of $84.68 and volume is well above its three-month average action of 573,418 shares.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in RKT as long as it’s trending above $82 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels at $84.10 to $84.68 with volume that hits near or above 573,418 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then RKT will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory above $84.68, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $87 to $90.

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.


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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.