Stock Quotes in this Article: ACOR, STZ, INSY, NMBL

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.

Nimble Storage

Nimble Storage (NMBL) designs & sells a flash-optimized hybrid storage platform that it believes is disrupting the market by enabling improvements in application performance and storage capacity with data protection. This stock closed up 6.2% to $26.45 in Friday's trading session.

Friday's Volume: 951,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 531,179

Volume % Change: 128%

From a technical perspective, NMBL ripped sharply higher here with above-average volume. Shares of NMBL recently broke out above some near-term overhead resistance at $24.18 with strong upside volume. Market players should now look for a continuation move higher in the short-term for NMBL if it manages to clear Friday's intraday high of $26.80 with strong upside volume flows.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in NMBL as long as it's trending above Friday's low of $24.65 or above $23 and then once it sustains a move or close above Friday's high of $26.80 with volume that hits near or above 531,179 shares. If that move gets underway soon, then NMBL will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $30 to its 50-day moving average of $33.17.

INSYS Therapeutics

INSYS Therapeutics (INSY), a commercial-stage specialty pharmaceutical company, develops and commercializes supportive care products. This stock closed up 5.5% at $23.85 in Friday's trading session.

Friday's Volume: 1.98 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 640,976

Volume % Change: 218%

From a technical perspective, INSY jumped notably higher here right above its recent low of $20.52 with above-average volume. Shares of INSY have been downtrending badly for the last few weeks, with shares sliding lower from its high of $43.10 to its low of $20.52. During that downtrend, shares of INSY have been consistently making lower highs and lower lows, which is bearish technical price action. That slide has now pushed shares of INSY into oversold territory, since its current relative strength index reading is 24.23. Oversold an always get more oversold, but it's also an area where a stock can experience a powerful bounce higher from.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in INSY as long as it's trending above Friday's low of $22.60 and then once it sustains a move or close above Friday's high of $24.27 with volume that this near or above 640,976 shares. If that move kicks off soon, then INSY will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $27.50 to its 200-day moving average of $31.09.

Constellation Brands

Constellation Brands (STZ), together with its subsidiaries, produces, imports and markets beer, wine and spirits in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, New Zealand and Italy. This stock closed up 3.8% at $82.95 in Friday's trading session.

Friday's Volume: 2.26 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 1.40 million

Volume % Change: 58%

From a technical perspective, STZ spiked notably higher here back above its 50-day moving average of $81.39 with above-average volume. This jump higher on Friday pushed shares of STZ into breakout territory, since the stock took out some near-term overhead resistance at $82.17. Market players should now look for a continuation move to the upside in shares of STZ if it manages to clear Friday's intraday high of $83.19 with strong volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in STZ as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $81.39 or above Friday's low of $80.07 and then once it sustains a move or close above Friday's high of $83.19 with volume that's near or above 1.40 million shares. If that move materializes soon, then STZ will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance level at its 52-week high of $85.91. Any high-volume move above $85.91 will then give STZ a chance to tag $90.

Acorda Therapeutics

Acorda Therapeutics (ACOR), a biopharmaceutical company, identifies, develops and commercializes novel therapies for multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury and other disorders of the nervous system in the U.S. This stock closed up 2.2% at $30.97 in Friday's trading session.

Friday's Volume: 800,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 530,602

Volume % Change: 65%

From a technical perspective, ACOR spiked notably higher here right above its recent low of $29.32 with above-average volume. This stock has been downtrending badly for the last month and change, with shares moving lower from its high of $39.94 to its recent low of $29.32. During that downtrend, shares of ACOR have been making mostly lower highs and lower lows, which is bearish technical price action. That said, shares of ACOR have now started to rebound off its recent low of $29.32 with decent upside volume flows. That rebound could be signaling an end to the downtrend for shares of ACOR and the possible start of a short-term rebound and uptrend.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in ACOR as long as it's trending above Friday's low of $29.79 or above its recent low of $29.32 and then once it sustains a move or close above Friday's intraday high of $31.04 with volume that's near or above 530,602 shares. If that move starts soon, then ACOR will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $33 to its 200-day moving average of $33.74, or even its 50-day moving average of $35.55.

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.