Stock Quotes in this Article: BONT, MEG, RLOC, STAA

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.

Bon-Ton Stores

Bon-Ton Stores (BONT), through its subsidiaries, operates department stores in the U.S. This stock closed up 8.1% to $11.79 in Monday's trading session.

Monday's Volume: 1.10 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 544,818

Volume % Change: 92%

From a technical perspective, BONT gapped sharply higher here back above its 50-day moving average of $10.75 with above-average volume. This move pushed shares of BONT into breakout territory, after the stock took out some near-term overhead resistance at $11.57. Market players should now look for a continuation move to the upside in the short-term if BONT manages to clear Monday's high of $11.94 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in BONT as long as it's trending above Monday's low of $11.13 or above its 50-day at $10.75 and then once it sustains a move or close above $11.94 with volume that hits near or above 544,818 shares. If that move materializes soon, then BONT will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $13.50 to its 200-day moving average of $14.06.

Media General

Media General (MEG) owns and operates broadcast television stations and related Web sites and mobile news applications in the U.S. This stock closed up 6.9% at $18.65 in Monday's trading session.

Monday's Volume: 787,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 322,815

Volume % Change: 138%

From a technical perspective, MEG ripped sharply higher here back above its 50-day moving average of $18 with above-average volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of MEG within range of triggering a big breakout trade. That trade will hit if MEG manages to take out Monday's high of $18.73 to more near-term overhead resistance at $19.69 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in MEG as long as it's trending above Monday's low of $17.47 or above $17 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 322,815 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then MEG will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $23 to its 52-week high at $23.97.

ReachLocal

ReachLocal (RLOC) provides a suite of online marketing and reporting solutions to small and medium-sized businesses. This stock closed up 7.6% to $10.65 in Monday's trading session.

Monday's Volume: 240,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 153,797

Volume % Change: 80%

From a technical perspective, RLOC gapped up sharply higher here with above-average volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of RLOC within range of triggering a big breakout trade. That trade will hit if RLOC manages to take out Monday's high of $10.73 to some more key overhead resistance levels at $10.82 to its gap-down-day high of $11.10 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in RLOC as long as it's trending above Monday's low of $10.36 or above $10 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 153,797 shares. If that breakout gets underway soon, then RLOC will set up to re-fill some of its previous gap-down-day zone that started near $13.

Staar Surgical

Staar Surgical (STAA), together with its subsidiaries, designs, develops, manufactures and sells implantable lenses for the eye. This stock closed up 5.9% at $17.59 in Monday's trading session.

Monday's Volume: 666,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 244,162

Volume % Change: 191%

From a technical perspective, STAA bounced sharply higher here right above some near-term support at $16.33 with above-average volume. This move is starting to push shares of STAA within range of triggering a big breakout trade. That trade will hit if STAA manages to take out Monday's high of $17.74 to its 52-week high at $19.50 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in STAA as long as it's trending above support at $16.33 or above its 50-day at $15.85 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that this near or above 244,162 shares. If that breakout materializes soon, then STAA will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $22 to $25.

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.