Stock Quotes in this Article: CNX, CSX, LM, LRE, DNKN

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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Dunkin Brands Group

Dunkin Brands Group (DNKN) is a 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 2.3% at $37.94 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 1.30 million

Average Volume: 1.09 million

Volume % Change: 76%

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From a technical perspective, DNKN is moving modestly higher here right above some near-term support at $36 with above-average volume. This stock has been uptrending strong for the last three months, with shares soaring higher from its low of $28.97 to its recent high of $40. During that move, shares of DNKN have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now pushed shares of DNKN within range of triggering a major breakout trade, which will hit once DNKN takes out its 52-week high and all-time at $40 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in DNKN as long as it’s trending above today’s low of $37.11 and then once it sustains a move or close above $40 with volume that hits near or above 1.09 million shares. If that breakout triggers, then DNKN will set up to enter new all-time high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $45 to $47 in the near future.

Legg Mason

Legg Mason (LM) is a global asset management company providing investment management and related services to institutional and individual clients, company-sponsored mutual funds and other pooled investment vehicles. This stock is trading up 1.1% at $27.54 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 1.76 million

Average Volume: 1.61 million

Volume % Change: 76%

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From a technical perspective, LM is bouncing modestly higher here right above some near-term support at $27 with above-average volume. This stock has been uptrending strong for the last four months, with shares moving higher from its low of $23.78 to its recent high of $28.52. During that move, shares of LM have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now pushed shares of LM within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit if LM manages to take out some key overhead resistance levels at $28.52 to $29.10 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in LM as long as it’s trending above today’s low of $27.10, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 1.61 million shares. If that breakout hits soon, then LM will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $32 to $33.56.

CSX

CSX (CSX) operates as a transportation supplier. Its rail and intermodal businesses provide rail-based transportation services including traditional rail service and the transport of intermodal containers and trailers. This stock is trading up 2.8% at $22.59 in recent trading.
Today’s Volume: 10.45 million
Average Volume: 9.35 million
Volume % Change: 52%

Shares of CSX are trending higher today following a positive Barron’s mention over the weekend.

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From a technical perspective, CSX is gapping notably higher here right above its 200-day moving average of $21.25 with above-average volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of CSX within range of triggering a major breakout trade, which will hit if CSX manages to clear some key overhead resistance at $22.67 and then once it takes out more resistance at $23.13 to $23.19 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in CSX as long as it’s trending above its 200-day at $21.25, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 9.35 million shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then CSX will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $25 to $26.08.

LRR Energy LP

LRR Energy LP (LRE) intends to operate, acquire, exploit and develop producing oil and natural gas properties in North America. This stock is trading up 8% at $18.89 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 341,000

Average Volume: 83,432

Volume % Change: 344%

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From a technical perspective, LRE is exploding higher here right off its 200-day moving average of $17.29 and back above its 50-day moving average of $17.76 with heavy upside volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of LRE within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if LRE manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $19.20 to $19.34 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in LRE as long as it’s trending above $18.25, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 83,432 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then LRE will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $20.08 to $20.42. Any high-volume move above $20.42 will then put $21 to $21.62 into focus for shares of LRE.

Consol Energy

Consol Energy (CNX) is a multi-fuel energy producer and energy services provider that mainly serves the electric power generation industry in the U.S. This stock is trading up 4% at $33.03 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 3.62 million

Average Volume: 2.54 million

Volume % Change: 52%

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From a technical perspective, CNX is ripping higher here back above its 50-day moving average of $32.02 with above-average volume. This move has started to push shares of CNX into breakout territory, since the stock has taken out some near-term overhead resistance at $32.99. At last check, CNX has hit an intraday high of $33.18 and volume is well above its three-month average action of 2.54 million shares.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in CNX as long as it’s trending above $32 to $32.99 with strong upside volume flows. I would consider any upside volume day that registers near or above its three-month average action of 2.45 million shares as bullish. If CNX can maintain that trend, then this stock will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $35.27 to $35.50. Any high-volume move above those levels will then put $37 to $37.12 into range for shares of CNX.

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.