Stock Quotes in this Article: AFCE, CRH, PCLN, TZOO

MADISON, 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.

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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Travelzoo

Travelzoo (TZOO) is a global Internet media company that informs over 24 million subscribers worldwide, as well as millions of Web site users, about travel and entertainment deals available from thousands of companies. This stock is trading up 1.9% at $28.94 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 123,000

Average Volume: 97,437

Volume % Change: 124%

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From a technical perspective, TZOO is bouncing higher here right off some near-term support at $28 with above-average volume. This stock has been uptrending strong for the last two months, with shares soaring higher from its low of $20.94 to its recent high of $29.80. During that move, shares of TZOO have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now pushed shares of TZOO within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if TZOO manages to take out its 52-week high at $29.80 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in TZOO as long as it's trending above $28 or above more near-term support at $27.06 and then once it sustains a move or close above $29.80 with volume that hits near or above 97,437 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then TZOO will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $32 to $35.

Priceline.com

Priceline.com (PCLN) is an online travel company that offers its customers a range of travel services, including hotel rooms, car rentals, airline tickets, vacation packages, cruises and destination services. This stock is trading up 2.2% at $810.21 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 894,000

Average Volume: 669,849

Volume % Change: 122%

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From a technical perspective, PCLN is trending higher here right above some near-term support at $784.32 with above-average volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of PCLN within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if PCLN manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance at $820 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in PCLN as long as it's trending above $800, and then once it sustains a move or close above $820 with volume that hits near or above 669,849 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then PCLN will set up to re-fill some of its previous gap down zone from earlier this month that started at $847.

CRH

CRH (CRH) manufactures and distributes building material products from the fundamentals of heavy materials and elements to construct the frame. This stock is trading up 2.8% at $21.81 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 622,000

Average Volume: 156,356

Volume % Change: 639%

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From a technical perspective, CRH is spiking higher here back above its 50-day moving average at $21.48 with heavy upside volume. This move is quickly pushing the stock within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if CRH manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $22.15 to $22.33 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in CRH as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $21.48 or above more near-term support at $20.82, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 156,356 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then CRH will set up to re-test or possibly take out its 52-week high at $23.38. Any high-volume move above $23.38 will then put $25 to $30 into range for shares of CRH.

AFC Enterprises

AFC Enterprises (AFCE) develops, operates and franchises quick-service restaurants under the trade names Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits and Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen. This stock is trading up 1.4% at $35.33 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 242,000

Average Volume: 224,647

Volume % Change: 116%

From a technical perspective, AFCE is spiking higher here right above its 50-day moving average at $34.05 with above-average volume. This move has briefly pushed shares of AFCE into breakout territory, since the stock took out some near-term overhead resistance at $35.11. At last check, AFCE has hit an intraday high of $36.47 and volume is just starting to surpass its three-month average action of 224,647 shares. Shares of AFCE are now trending within range of triggering another breakout trade. That trade will hit if AFCE manages to take out its 52-week high at $36.77 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in AFCE as long as it's trending above $35.11 or above its 50-day at $34.05 and then once it sustains a move or close above its 52-week high at $36.77 with volume that hits near or above 224,647 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then AFCE will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $40 to $43.

To see more stocks rising on unusual volume, check out the Stocks Rising on Unusual Volume portfolio on Stockpickr.

-- Written by Roberto Pedone in Madison, Wis.

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At the time of publication, author had no positions in stocks mentioned.

Roberto Pedone, based out of Madison, 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.