Stock Quotes in this Article: AU, SHEN, XEL, AMCX, AGI

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 today.

Shenandoah Telecommunications

Shenandoah Telecommunications (SHEN), with its subsidiaries, provides integrated voice, video and data communications services to end-user customers and other communications providers. This stock closed up 3.9% at $19.81 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 245,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 64,788

Volume % Change: 300%

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From a technical perspective, SHEN jumped higher here right off its 50-day moving average of $18.97 with strong upside volume. This stock has been uptrending strong for the last month, with shares moving higher from its low of $17.06 to its intraday high of $19.85. During that move, shares of SHEN have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move is starting to push shares of SHEN within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if SHEN manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $20.26 to its 52-week high at $21 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in SHEN as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $18.97 or above more support at $18.50 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 64,788 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then SHEN will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that move are $24 to $25.

AMC Network

AMC Network (AMCX) owns and operates several popular and award-winning brands in cable television, including AMC, IFC, Sundance Channel, WE tv and IFC Films. This stock closed up 1.3% at $66.41 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 814,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 445,048

Volume % Change: 120%

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From a technical perspective, AMCX trended modestly higher here back above its 50-day moving average of $66.06 with above-average volume. This stock recently pulled back sharply from its August high of $72.46 to its recent low of $61.05. Shares of AMCX found some buying interest right above its 200-day, and the stock has now rebounded sharply back above its 50-day. That move is now pushing shares of AMCX within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if AMCX manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance at Wednesday's high of $67.25 to more resistance at $68.41 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in AMCX as long as it's trending above $65 or $64.50 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 445,048 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then AMCX will set up to re-test or possibly take out its 52-weeek high at $72.46.

Alamos Gold

Alamos Gold (AGI), a gold mining company, engages in the development, exploration, mining, and extraction of precious metals, primarily gold in Mexico and Turkey. This stock closed up 7.7% at $16.89 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 517,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 90,013

Volume % Change: 571%

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From a technical perspective, AGI spiked sharply higher here right off its 50-day moving average of $15.13 with heavy upside volume. This marked the third day in a row that shares of AGI have seen strong upside volume flows. Shares of AGI are now quickly moving within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit if AGI manage to take out Wednesday's high of $17 to $17.04 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in AGI as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $15.13 or above its 200-day at $14.50, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that's near or above 90,013 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then AGI will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $19.79 to $20.61.

Xcel Energy

Xcel Energy (XEL) is engaged in the generation, purchase, transmission, distribution and sale of electricity and in the purchase, transportation, distribution and sale of natural gas. This stock closed up 3.1% at $27.94 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 9.37 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 3.45 million

Volume % Change: 305%

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From a technical perspective, XEL bounced notably higher here right above some previous support at $26.86 with monster upside volume. This move pushed shares of XEL into breakout territory, since the stock took out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $27.87 to $27.81. Shares of XEL are now trending within range of triggering another big breakout trade. That trade will hit if XEL manages to take out both its 200-day moving average at $28.15 and its 50-day moving average of $28.46 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in XEL as long as it's trending above some key near-term support at $26.86 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that's near or above 3.45 million shares. If that breakout hits soon, then XEL will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $29.75 to $30.

AngloGold Ashanti

AngloGold Ashanti (AU), a gold exploration, mining and marketing company, holds a portfolio of operations and projects on four continents. This stock closed up 8.9% at $14.30 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 10.26 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 4.11 million

Volume % Change: 325%

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From a technical perspective, AU exploded higher here back above its 50-day moving average of $13.41 with monster upside volume. This stock recently formed a double bottom chart pattern at $12.69 to $12.50. Following that bottom, shares of AU have started to rebound sharply higher and move within range of triggering a big breakout trade. That trade will hit if AU manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $14.95 to $15.23 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in AU as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $13.41 or above more support at $12.50 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that's near or above 4.11 million shares. If that breakout hits soon, then AU will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $17 to $18, or even $19.

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.