Stock Quotes in this Article: BWC, CPRT, ICON, PHMD, KORS

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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Michael Kors

Michael Kors (KORS) designs, markets and distributes women's apparel and accessories and men's apparel. It operates in three business segments namely retail, wholesale and licensing. This stock is trading up 2.4% at $57.68 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 4.55 million

Average Volume: 5.48 million

Volume % Change: 64%

Shares of KORS are trending up today after Citigroup recommended using the recent pullback in the stock as a buying opportunity. The firm keeps its buy rating and $75 a share price target on the stock.

From a technical perspective, KORS is bouncing higher here right off its 50-day moving average of $56.82 with decent upside volume. This bounce is coming after shares of KORS recently dropped sharply from its 52-week high of $65.10 to its low of $54.58. Shares of KORS have started to rebound off that $54.58 low and it’s now quickly moving within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if KORS manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance at $59 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in KORS as long as it’s trending above its 50-day at $56.82, and then once it sustains a move or close above $59 with volume that hits near or above 5.48 million shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then KORS will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance level at $61.33. Any high-volume move above $61.33 could then put $64 to $65.10 into range for shares of KORS.

Iconix Brand Group

Iconix Brand Group (ICON) is a brand management company involved in licensing, marketing and providing trend direction for a portfolio of consumer brands. This stock is trading up 4.3% at $24.31 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 8.47 million

Average Volume: 655,174

Volume % Change: 1978%

Shares of ICON are moving sharply higher today after the company announced the pricing of $350 million in convertible notes, and said it will use $69 million of the proceeds to repurchase common stock.

From a technical perspective, ICON is ripping higher here right off its 50-day moving average of $23.55 with monster upside volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of ICON within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit if ICON manages to clear its 52-week high at $24.92 with high volume. At last check, ICON has hit an intraday high of $24.79 and volume is dramatically above its three-month average action of 655,174 shares.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in ICON as long as it’s trending above its 50-day at $23.55, and then once it sustains a move or close above its 52-week high at $24.92 with high volume that hits near or above 655,174 shares. If that breakout triggers 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 breakout are $26 to $30.

Copart

Copart (CPRT) is a provider of online auctions and vehicle remarketing services in the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom. This stock is trading up 3.7% to $33.42 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 1.45 million

Average Volume: 943,897

Volume % Change: 125%

From a technical perspective, CPRT is ripping higher here right above some near-term support at $31.30 with above-average volume. This stock has been downtrending badly for the last month and change, with shares moving lower from its 52-week high of $37.47 to its recent low of $31.30. During that move, shares of CPRT were mostly making lower highs and lower lows, which is bearish technical price action. Shares of CPRT are now starting to rebound off that $31.30 low and it’s quickly moving within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if CPRT manages to take out its 50-day moving average of $33.43 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in CPRT as long as it’s trending above today’s low of $32.20, and then once it sustains a move or close above its 50-day at $33.43 with volume that hits near or above 943,897 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then CPRT will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance level at $35 to $36.50.

Babcock & Wilcox

Babcock & Wilcox (BWC) is a technology innovator in power generation systems, a specialty constructor of nuclear components and a service provider in its segments. This stock is trading up 1.4% at $27.91 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 670,000

Average Volume: 692,785

Volume % Change: 64%

From a technical perspective, BWC is bouncing higher here right above some near-term support at $27.17 with decent upside volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of BWC within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit once BWC manages to take out some near-term overhand resistance at $28.02 with high volume. At last check, BWC has hit an intraday high of $28.09 and the volume is closing in on surpassing its three-month average action of 692,785 shares.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in BWC as long as it’s trending above some key near-term support at $27.17 or above its 50-day at $26.46, and then once it sustains a move or close above $28.02 with volume that hits near or above 692,785 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then BWC will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance level at its 52-week high of $29.97. Any high-volume move above $29.97 will then put $32 o $33.87 into range for shares of BWC.

PhotoMedex

PhotoMedex (PHMD) is a global skin health company providing integrated disease management and aesthetic solutions to dermatologists, professional aestheticians and consumers. This stock is trading up 3.6% at $15.59 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 492,000

Average Volume: 133,632

Volume % Change: 541%

Shares of PHMD are moving higher here after the company said it moved to a profit in the fourth quarter after it acquired Radiancy Inc. PhotoMedex earnings $5.9 million, or 27 cents per share, in the quarter ended in December. A year earlier, it took a loss of $3 million, or 22 cents per share. Revenue soared 91% to $54.8 million from $28.7 million.

From a technical perspective, PHMD is ripping higher here right off its 50-day moving average of $14.83 with above-average volume. This move has started to push shares of PHMD into breakout territory, since the stock has taken out some near-term overhead resistance at $15.35. Shares of PHMD are now quickly moving within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit if PHMD manages to take out some more near-term overhead resistance at $15.56 with high volume. At last check, PHMD has hit an intraday high of $15.78 and volume is well above its three-month average action of 133,632 shares.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in PHMD as long as it’s trending above its 50-day at $14.83, and then once it sustains a move or close above $15.35 to $15.78 with volume that hits near or above 133,632 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then PHMD will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $17 to $19.18.

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.