Stock Quotes in this Article: ARUN, DOLE, ECPG, VAC, TFM

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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Dole Food

Dole Food (DOLE) is a producer and marketer of fruit and vegetables, including an expanding line of value-added products. This stock is trading up 8% at $10.97 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 3.34 million

Average Volume: 1.25 million

Volume % Change: 281%

From a technical perspective, is spiking higher here right off some near-term support at $10.50 with monster upside volume. This stock has been uptrending decent for the last month, with shares pushing higher from its low of $9.55 to its intraday high of $11. During that move, shares of DOLE have been mostly making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now pushed shares of DOLE within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if DOLE manages to clear its 50-day moving average of $11.02 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in DOLE as long as it’s trending above today’s low of $10.50, and then once it sustains a move or close above $11.02 with volume that hits near or above 1.25 million shares. If that breakout hits soon, then DOLE will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $12 to $12.32. Any high-volume move above $12.32 will then put $12.72 to $12.87 into focus for shares of DOLE.

Encore Capital Group

Encore Capital Group (ECPG), a systems-driven purchaser and manager of charged-off consumer receivable portfolios, is trading up 1.9% at $30.20 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 357,000

Average Volume: 268,458

Volume % Change: 153%

From a technical perspective, ECPG is moving modestly higher here right above some near-term support at $28.77 with above-average volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of ECPG within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit if ECPG manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $31 to $31.49 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in ECPG as long as it’s trending above that key near-term support level at $28.77, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 268,458 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then ECPG will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $33 to $35 in the near future.

Fresh Market

Specialty grocery retailer Fresh Market (TFM) is trading up 2.1% at $48.68 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 633,000

Average Volume: 574,025

Volume % Change: 73%

From a technical perspective, TFM is moving modestly higher here right off some near-term support at around $48 with above-average volume. This stock has been uptrending strong for the last month, with shares moving higher from its low of $44.65 to its recent high of $49.21. During that move, shares of TFM have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now pushed shares of TFM within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if TFM manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance at $49.21 to its 50-day at $50.78 and then once it clears more resistance at $51.10 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in TFM as long as it’s trending above today’s low of $47.63, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 574,025 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then TFM will set up to re-test or possibly take out its 200-day moving average of $54.38. Any high-volume move above $54.38 will then give TFM a chance to re-fill some of its gap down zone from last November that started at $62.

Aruba Networks

Aruba Networks (ARUN) provides enterprise mobility solutions that enable secure access to data, voice and video applications across wireless and wireline enterprise networks. This stock is trading up 4% at $23.59 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 2.69 million

Average Volume: 2.41 million

Volume % Change: 78%

Shares of ARUN are ripping higher today after Craig-Hallum analyst Rajesh Ghai boosted his rating on the stock to buy from hold, while upping his price target to $29, from $21.

From a technical perspective, ARUN is pushing higher here with above-average volume. This move has started to push shares of ARUN into breakout territory, since the stock has cleared some near-term overhead resistance at $23.19. Shares of ARUN are now quickly moving within range of triggering another major breakout trade. That trade will hit if ARUN manages to clear some past overhead resistance levels at $24.57 to $25.55 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in ARUN as long as it’s trending above that key breakout level of $23.19, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 2.41 million shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then ARUN will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $28.50 to $31.37.

Marriott Vacations Worldwide

Marriott Vacations Worldwide (VAC) engages in the development, marketing, sale and management of vacation ownership and related products in the U.S. This stock is trading up 1.4% at $44.88 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 414,000

Average Volume: 220,203

Volume % Change: 211%

From a technical perspective, VAC is moving modestly higher here right above some near-term support at $43 with above-average volume. This move has started to push shares of VAC into breakout territory and all-time-high territory, since the stock has taken out some near-term overhead resistance at $44.53.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in VAC as long as it’s trending above $43 to $42.49 with strong upside volume flows. Traders can also key off VAC’s 50-day moving average of $41.46 to determine if the stock wants to stay in its current uptrend. I would consider any upside volume day that registers near or above its three-month average action of 220,203 shares. If VAC can maintain that trend, then this stock will have a great chance of tagging $50 or higher in the near future.

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.