Stock Quotes in this Article: IMGN, UHS, KORS, CLV

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.

Cliffs Natural Resources

Cliffs Natural Resources (CLV), a mining and natural resources company, produces iron ore and metallurgical coal. This stock closed up 4.1% to $15.45 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 728,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 271,900

Volume % Change: 247%

From a technical perspective, CLV ripped notably higher here right above some near-term support levels at $14.50 to $14.35 with above-average volume. This spike higher on Wednesday briefly pushed shares of CLV into breakout territory, since it flirted with some near-term overhead resistance at $15.47 and its 50-day moving average of $15.49. Shares of CLV tagged an intraday high of $15.63, before it closed just below that level at $15.45. Market players should now look for a continuation move to the upside in the short-term if CLV manages to take out Wednesday's intraday high of $15.63 with strong volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in CLV as long as it's trending above Wednesday's intraday low of $14.85 or above $14.50 to $14.35 and then once it sustains a move or close above $15.63 with volume that hits near or above 271,900 shares. If that move gets started soon, then CLV will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $18 to its 200-day moving average of $18.63, or even $19 to $20.

Michael Kors

Michael Kors (KORS) is engaged in the design, marketing, distribution and retailing of branded women's apparel and accessories and men's apparel. This stock closed up 2% to $81.10 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 9.67 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 2.97 million

Volume % Change: 203%

From a technical perspective, KORS trended higher here off its intraday low of $77.75 with strong upside volume. This stock gapped down sharply on Tuesday from close to $90 to under $80 with heavy downside volume. Shares of KORS are now starting to rebound following that gap right above some key previous support from February at $76.15. Market players should now look for a continuation move higher in the short-term if KORS manages to take out Wednesday's intraday high of $81.55 to its gap-down-day high of $82.96 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in KORS as long as it's trending above Wednesday's intraday low of $77.75 and then once it sustains a move or close above $81.55 to $82.96 with volume that hits near or above 2.97 million shares. If that move gets started soon, then KORS will set up to re-fill some of its previous gap-down-day zone that started near $89.

Universal Health Services

Universal Health Services (UHS), through its subsidiaries, owns and operates acute care hospitals, behavioral health centers, surgical hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers and radiation oncology centers. This stock closed up 5.6% at $96.98 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 2.04 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 728,889

Volume % Change: 215%

From a technical perspective, UHS gapped up sharply higher here right above its 50-day moving average of $91.54 with strong upside volume flows. This sharp spike higher on Wednesday is quickly pushing shares of UHS within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit if UHS manages to take out some key near-term overhead resistance levels at $97.07 to its 52-week high of $98.89 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in UHS as long as it's trending above Wednesday's intraday low of $94.50 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that's near or above 728,889 shares. If that breakout gets underway soon, then UHS will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $110 to $120.

ImmunoGen

ImmunoGen (IMGN), a biotechnology company, develops targeted anticancer therapeutics. The company develops its products using its targeted antibody payload technology. This stock closed up 4.9% at $11.27 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 1.41 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 910,345

Volume % Change: 50%

From a technical perspective, IMGN spiked sharply higher here right above its 52-week low of $10.65 with above-average volume. This stock recently formed a double bottom chart pattern at $10.69 to $10.65. Following that bottom, shares of IMGN have started to spike higher with strong upside volume flows and it's quickly moving within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit if IMGN manages to take out its 50-day moving average of $11.84 to some more key overhead resistance at $12.17 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in IMGN as long as it's trending above those double bottom support levels and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that's near or above 910,345 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then IMGN will set up to re-fill its previous gap-down-day zone from June that started just above $12.75. Any high volume move above that gap-down-day high at $13.78 will then give IMGN a chance to tag its 200-day moving average of $14.39 to some more key overhead resistance levels at $15 to $17.

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.