Stock Quotes in this Article: ARIA, BYD, PBT, STRA, UVV

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.

Universal

Universal (UVV) is a leaf tobacco supplier. This stock closed up 1.2% at $49.78 in Monday's trading session.

Monday's Volume: 490,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 167,420

Volume % Change: 200%

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From a technical perspective, UVV bounced modestly higher here right above some near-term support at $48.13 with strong upside volume. This stock has been downtrending badly for the last few weeks, with shares plunging from its high of $63.59 to its recent low of $48.13 with heavy downside volume. During that move, shares of UVV have been consistently making lower highs and lower lows, which is bearish technical price action. That move has now pushed shares of UVV into extremely oversold territory, since its current relative strength index reading is 24. Oversold can always get more oversold, but it's also an area where a stock can rebound sharply higher from.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in UVV as long as it's trending above that recent low of $48.13 and then once it sustains a move or close above some near-term overhead resistance at $51 with volume that hits near or above 167,420 shares. If we get that move soon, then UVV will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $53 to its 200-day moving average at $54.85

Strayer Education

Strayer Education (STRA) provides post-secondary education services for working adults. This stock closed up 2.1% at $41.74 in Monday's trading session.

Monday's Volume: 359,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 172,781

Volume % Change: 95%

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From a technical perspective, STRA bounced notably higher here right above some near-term support at $40.03 with above-average volume. This stock has been downtrending badly for the last three months, with shares dropping sharply from its high of $58.55 to that low of $40.03. During that move, shares of STRA have been making mostly lower highs and lower lows, which is bearish technical price action. That move has now pushed shares of STRA into oversold territory, since its current relative strength index reading is 36. Oversold can always get more oversold, but it's also an area where a stock can experience a powerful bounce higher from.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in STRA as long as it's trending above that recent low of $40.03 and then once it sustains a move or close above some near-term overhead resistance at $43 with volume that hits near or above 172,781 shares. If we get that move soon, then STRA will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $46 to its 50-day moving average of $47.20. Any high-volume move above $47.20 will then give STRA a chance to tag $49 to $50.

Ariad Pharmaceuticals

Ariad Pharmaceuticals (ARIA) is engaged in the discovery and development of breakthrough medicines to treat cancers by regulating cell signaling with small molecules. This stock closed up 7.1% at $19.29 in Monday's trading session.

Monday's Volume: 4.15 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 2.28 million

Volume % Change: 87%

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From a technical perspective, ARIA soared sharply higher here back above its 50-day moving average of $18.61 with above-average volume. This stock recently saw its downside volatility stop, after shares fell from $21.30 to its low of $16.95. As ARIA has come out of that recent downtrend, shares of rebounded sharply with bullish upside volume flows. This stock is now quickly moving within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if ARIA manages to take out its 200-day moving average at $19.37 and then once it takes out more resistance at $20.03 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in ARIA as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $18.61 or above Monday's low of $18.01 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that's near or above 2.28 million shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then ARIA will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $21.30 to $22.49. Any high-volume move above those levels will then put $24 into range for shares of ARIA.

Boyd Gaming

Boyd Gaming (BYD) owns and operates gaming entertainment facilities located in Nevada, Mississippi, Illinois, Louisiana and Indiana. This stock closed up 3.5% at $12.36 in Monday's trading session.

Monday's Volume: 3.40 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 2.18 million

Volume % Change: 175%

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From a technical perspective, BYD bounced notably higher here right above its 50-day moving average of $11.69 with strong upside volume flows. This move is starting to push shares of BYD within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit if BYD manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $13.79 to its 52-week high at $14.50 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in BYD as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $11.69 or above more near-term support at $11.27 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that's near or above 2.18 million shares. If that breakout hits soon, then BYD will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory above $14.50, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $17 to $20.

Permian Basin Royalty Trust

Permian Basin Royalty Trust (PBT) owns overriding royalty rights in several mineral properties in the U.S. This stock closed up 1.6% at $13.85 in Monday's trading session.

Monday's Volume: 209,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 102,792

Volume % Change: 95%

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From a technical perspective, PBT trended modestly higher here right above its 50-day moving average of $13.30 with above-average volume. This move pushed shares of PBT into breakout territory, since the stock took out some near-term overhead resistance at $13.77. Shares of PBT are now quickly moving within range of triggering another big breakout trade. That trade will hit if PBT manages to take out a key double top resistance zone at $14.07 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in PBT as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $13.30 and then once it sustains a move or close above that breakout level with volume that's near or above 102,792 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then PBT will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $14.40 to $15.46. Any high-volume move above those levels will then put $17 to $18 into range for shares of PBT.

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.