Stock Quotes in this Article: HEP, ICON, ROG, WEX, ACHC

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.

Rogers

Rogers (ROG), together with its subsidiaries, engages in the development, manufacture and distribution of specialty materials and components worldwide. This stock closed up 5.4% to $61.09 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 541,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 88,663

Volume % Change: 501%

From a technical perspective, ROG ripped sharply higher here right off its 50-day moving average of $58.36 with strong upside volume. This move pushed shares of ROG into breakout territory, since it took out its former 52-week high at $60.97. Market players can now look for a continuation move out of ROG, since the stock is trading in new 52-week high territory.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in ROG as long as it's trending above $60 or its 50-day at $58.36 and then once it sustains a move or close above Wednesday's high of $61.50 with volume that hits near or above 88,663 shares. If we get that move soon, then ROG will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that move are $65 to $67.

Acadia Healthcare

Acadia Healthcare (ACHC) develops and operates a network of behavioral health facilities. It provides premier psychiatric and chemical dependency services to its patients. This stock closed up 8.4% at $42.67 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 987,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 215,314

Volume % Change: 370%

From a technical perspective, ACHC skyrocketed higher here right off its 50-day moving average of $39.15 with strong upside volume. This move pushed shares of ACHC into breakout and new 52-week high territory, since the stock took out some past overhead resistance levels at $41 to $41.30. Market players can now look for a continuation trend higher in ACHC, if the stock can enter new 52-week-high territory in the near-term.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in ACHC as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $39.15 and then once it sustains a move or close above Wednesday's high of $43.55 with volume that's near or above 215,314 shares. If we get that move soon, then ACHC will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that move are $48 to $50.

Holly Energy

Holly Energy (HEP) is engaged mainly in the business of operating a system of petroleum product and crude oil pipelines, storage tanks, distribution terminals and loading rack facilities. This stock closed up 0.9% at $32.36 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 189,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 96,832

Volume % Change: 165%

From a technical perspective, HEP bounced modestly higher here right off its recent low of $31.23 with above-average volume. This stock has been downtrending badly for the last three months, with shares falling from its high of $38.89 to its recent low of $31.23. During that move, shares of HEP have been consistently making lower highs and lower lows, which is bearish technical price action. That said, shares of HEP could be signaling here that an end to its downside volatility is in the cards in the short-term.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in HEP as long as it's trending above that recent low of $31.23 and then once it sustains a move or close above Wednesday's high of $32.10 with volume that's near or above 96,832 shares. If we get that move soon, then HEP will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at its 50-day moving average of $33.03 to $34, or even its 200-day moving average at $36.10.

Iconix Brand Group

Iconix Brand Group (ICON) is a brand management company. This stock closed up 2.2% at $35.74 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 1.22 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 565,162

Volume % Change: 129%

From a technical perspective, ICON trended higher here into new 52-week-high territory with above-average volume. This stock recently broke out above some near-term overhead resistance at $34.63 with strong upside volume. Market players can now look for a continuation pattern higher for shares of ICON, if it can make a new 52-week high again.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in ICON as long as it's trending above Wednesday's low of $35 or above $34 and then once it sustains a move or close above Wednesday's high of $35.95 with volume that's near or above 565,162 shares. If we get that move soon, then ICON will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that move are $40 to $43.

Wex

Wex (WEX) provides value-based business processing and information management solutions. This stock closed up 4.3% at $91.09 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 415,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 151,485

Volume % Change: 210%

From a technical perspective, WEX ripped higher here and broke out above some near-term overhead resistance at $88.62 to $88.94 with above-average volume. This stock also flirted with new 52-week high territory, since it challenged its former 52-week high at $91.84, before closing just below that level at $91.09. Market players can now look for a continuation trend higher if WEX can manage to tag new 52-week highs in the near-term.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in WEX as long as it's trending above Wednesday's low of $87.63 and then once it sustains a move or close above Wednesday's high of $92.83 levels with volume that's near or above 151,485 shares. If we get that move soon, then WEX will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that move are $100 to $105.

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.