Stock Quotes in this Article: AMZN, SPTN, BITA, MEMP

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.

Memorial Production Partners

Memorial Production Partners (MEMP), through its subsidiary, is engaged in the acquisition, development, exploitation, and production of oil and natural gas properties. This stock closed up 2.8% at $22.83 in Friday's trading session.

Friday's Volume: 1.37 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 471,292

Volume % Change: 243%

From a technical perspective, MEMP jumped higher here right above some near-term support at $22.07 with strong upside volume. This stock recently gapped down from just over $24 to its recent low of $22.07. Following that move, shares of MEMP have started to bounce off that $22.07 low and its moving back into its gap-down-day zone. Market players should now look for a continuation move to the upside in the short-term if MEMP manages to clear its 50-day moving average of $22.93 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in MEMP as long as it's trending above Friday's intraday low of $22.32 or above that recent low of $22.07 and then once it sustains a move or close above its 50-day at $22.93 with volume that hits near or above 471, 292 shares. If that move begins soon, then MEMP will set up to re-fill its previous gap-down-day zone from this month that started just above $24. If that gap gets filled with volume, then MEMP will set up to take out its 52-week high of $24.75.

Bitauto

Bitauto (BITA) provides Internet content and marketing services for the automotive industry primarily in the People's Republic of China. This stock closed up 5.4% at $50.67 in Friday's trading session.

Friday's Volume: 1.59 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 952,700

Volume % Change: 66%

From a technical perspective, BITA ripped higher here and broke out above some near-term overhead resistance at $49.67 with above-average volume. This sharp spike higher on Friday pushed shares of BITA into new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Market players should now look for a continuation move to the upside in the short-term if BITA manages to clear Friday's intraday high of $51.25 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in BITA as long as it's trending above Friday's intraday low of $48 and then once it sustains a move or close above $51.25 with volume that's near or above 952,700 shares. If that move starts soon, then BITA will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that move are $55 to $60.

Amazon.com

Amazon.com (AMZN) operates as an online retailer in North America and internationally. This stock closed up 18.2% at $346.20 in Friday's trading session.

Friday's Volume: 8.30 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 4.23 million

Volume % Change: 131%

From a technical perspective, AMZN gapped up sharply higher here and broke out above some near-term overhead resistance at $3.30 to $340.72 with high volume. This breakout pushed shares of AMZN out of a sideways trading chart pattern between $320 and $340. Market players should now look for a continuation move to the upside in the short-term if AMZN manages to take out its 200-day moving average of $347.56 to some past overhead resistance at $348.30 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in AMZN as long as it's trending above Friday's intraday low of $334.71 and then once it sustains a move or close above $347.56 to $348.30 with volume that's near or above 4.23 million shares. If that move kicks off soon, then AMZN will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $360 to $370, or even $380.

SpartanNash Company

SpartanNash Company (SPTN) operates as a grocery distributor and retailer primarily in the United States This stock closed up 7.3% at $21.91 in Friday's trading session.

Friday's Volume: 454,552

Three-Month Average Volume: 195,681

Volume % Change: 129%

From a technical perspective, SPTN ripped sharply higher here right above some near-term support at $19.44 and back above its 50-day moving average of $21.81 with above-average volume. This sharp spike to the upside on Friday is quickly pushing shares of SPTN within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if SPTN manages to take out its 200-day moving average of $22.45 to some more near-term overhead resistance at around $23 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in SPTN as long as it's trending above $21 or above $20.50 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that's near or above 195,681 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then SPTN will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $24.28 to $24.55, or even its 52-week high at $25.74.

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.