Stock Quotes in this Article: CMG, UFI, DNKN, EXAM

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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ExamWorks Group

ExamWorks Group (EXAM) is a provider of independent medical examinations, peer and bill reviews, and related services, referred to as IME services or the IME industry. This stock is trading up 6.8% at $18.20 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 419,000

Average Volume: 199,161

Volume % Change: 322%

From a technical perspective, EXAM is ripping higher here right above some near-term support at $16.70 with heavy upside volume. This move has started to push shares of EXAM into breakout territory and new 52-week-high territory, above some near-term overhead resistance at $17.81.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in EXAM as long as it’s trending above today’s low of $17.05 or above that breakout level at $17.81 with strong upside volume flows. I would consider any upside volume day that registers near or above 199,161 shares as bullish. If EXAM can maintain that trend, then this stock will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $20 to $22.

Unifi

Unifi (UFI) is a diversified producer and processor of multi-filament polyester and nylon yarns, with production facilities located in the Americas. This stock is trading up 3.2% at $19.35 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 59,000

Average Volume: 76,008

Volume % Change: 66%

From a technical perspective, UFI is bouncing higher here right above some near-term support at $18.20 with decent upside volume. This stock has been uptrending strong for the last two months, with shares soaring higher from its low of $11.28 to its recent high of $19.49. During that move, shares of UFI have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move is quickly pushing shares of UFI within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if UFI manages to take out its 52-week high at $19.49 and then once it clears more past resistance at $19.87 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in UFI as long as it’s trending above some key near-term support at $18.20, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 76,008 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then UFI will set up to trend well north of $20 in the near future.

Chipotle Mexican Grill

Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) develops and operates fast-casual, fresh Mexican food restaurants throughout the U.S. This stock is trading up 2% to $334.83 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 416,000

Average Volume: 538,237

Volume % Change: 50%

From a technical perspective, CMG is trending modestly higher here and breaking out above some near-term overhead resistance levels at $330 to $334.89 with decent upside volume. At last check, CMG has hit an intraday high of $336.79 and volume is tracking in a bit below its three-month average action of 538,237 shares.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in CMG as long as it’s trending above $330, and then once it sustains a move or close above that second breakout level at $334.89 and above today’s high of $336.79 with volume that hits near or above 538,237 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then CMG will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance level at $351.80.

Dunkin Brands Group

Dunkin Brands Group (DNKN) is in the business of franchisor of quick-service restaurants serving hot and cold coffee and baked goods, as well as hard serve ice cream. This stock is trading up 1.3% at $39.31 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 997,000

Average Volume: 1.10 million

Volume % Change: 50%

From a technical perspective, DNKN is trending higher here and breaking out above some near-term overhead resistance at $38.83 with solid upside volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of DNKN within range of triggering another major breakout trade. That trade will hit if DNKN manages to take out its 52-week high and all-time high at $40 with high volume. At last check, DNKN has hit an intraday high of $39.54 and volume is well on its way of surpassing its three-month average action of 1.10 million shares.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in DNKN as long as it’s trending above that first breakout level at $38.83 or above today’s low off $38.55 and then once it sustains a move or close above $40 with volume that hits near or above 1.10 million shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then DNKN will set up to trend well north of $40 a share as the stock enters new all-time highs. Some possible upside targets are $45 to $50 in the near future.

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.