Stock Quotes in this Article: ADES, ISRG, PMC, SUSS, PRIG

MADISON, 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.

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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Advanced Emissions Solutions

Advanced Emissions Solutions (ADES) is mainly engaged in providing environmental technologies and specialty chemicals to the coal-burning utility industry. This stock is trading up 6.8% at $36.14 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 175,000

Average Volume: 75,425

Volume % Change: 323%

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From a technical perspective, ADES is bouncing higher here right above some near-term support at $32.02 with above-average volume. This move has started to push shares of ADES into breakout territory, since the stock has taken out its 52-week high at $35.72. At last check, ADES has hit an intraday high of $37 and volume is well above its three-month average action of 75,425 shares.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in ADES as long as it's trending above $34 or $35.72 and then once it sustains a move or close above $37 with volume that hits near or above 75,425 shares. If we get that move soon, then ADES 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 $42.

Pharmerica

Pharmerica (PMC) is an institutional pharmacy services company that services health care facilities and provides management pharmacy services to hospitals. This stock is trading up 4.2% at $14.70 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 471,000

Average Volume: 236,478

Volume % Change: 205%

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From a technical perspective, PMC is spiking sharply higher here right above its 50-day at $13.76 and its 200-day at $13.72 with heavy upside volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of PMC within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit if PMC manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $14.81 to $15.29 and then once it clears more resistance at its 52-week high of $15.42 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in PMC as long as it's trending above $14 or above some near-term resistance at $14.37 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 236,478 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then PMC will set up to enter new 52-week high territory above $15.42, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $16.50 to $20.

Intuitive Surgical

Intuitive Surgical (ISRG) designs, manufactures and markets da Vinci Surgical Systems, EndoWrist instruments, and surgical accessories. This stock is trading up 4.8% at $501.54 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 559,000

Average Volume: 506,879

Volume % Change: 63%

Shares of ISRG are ripping higher today after the company won the first of more than two dozen lawsuits filed by patients and families.

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From a technical perspective, ISRG is bouncing higher here right off its 50-day moving average at $490.56 with above-average volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of ISRG within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit if ISRG manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $511.79 to $515.73 and then once it clears its 200-day moving average at $515.97 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in ISRG as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $490.56 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 506,879 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then ISRG will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $550 to $560.

Ocean Rig UDW

Ocean Rig UDW (ORIG), an offshore drilling contractor, is trading up 3.9% to $17.85 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 328,000

Average Volume: 338,957

Volume % Change: 59%

From a technical perspective, ORIG is bouncing higher here right above its 50-day moving average of $16.34 with decent upside volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of ORIG within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if ORIG manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $17.80 to $17.99 and then once it clears its 52-week high at $18.43 with high volume. At last check, ORIG has hit an intraday high of $18.04 and volume is about to surpass its three-month average action of 338,957 shares.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in ORIG as long as it's trending above today's low of $16.89 or above its 50-day at $16.34 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 338,957 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then ORIG will set up to enter new all-time high territory above $18.73, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $20 to $23.

Susser

Susser (SUSS) operates convenience stores and distributes motor fuels in Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma. This stock is trading up 1% at $50.14 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 288,000

Average Volume: 282,250

Volume % Change: 63%

From a technical perspective, SUSS is bouncing modestly higher here right off some near-term support at $48.85 with above-average volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of SUSS within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if SUSS manages to take out its 50-day moving average at $51.18 and then once it clears more resistance levels at $51.62 to $52.60 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in SUSS as long as it's trending above today's low of $48.85 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 282,250 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then SUSS will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $55 to $57.

To see more stocks rising on unusual volume, check out the Stocks Rising on Unusual Volume portfolio on Stockpickr.

-- Written by Roberto Pedone in Madison, Wis.

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At the time of publication, author had no positions in stocks mentioned.

Roberto Pedone, based out of Madison, 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.