Stock Quotes in this Article: CBSO, DWCH, ACRX, ADHD, CUDA

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 recently.

Datawatch

Datawatch (DWCH) designs, develops, markets and distributes business computer software products in the U.S. and internationally. This stock closed up 9.1% to $15.80 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 357,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 238,111

Volume % Change: 89%

From a technical perspective, DWCH spiked sharply higher here right above its 50-day moving average of $13.78 with above-average volume. This move higher on Wednesday pushed shares of DWCH into breakout territory, since the stock took out some near-term overhead resistance at $14.92. Shares of DWCH are now starting to move within range of triggering another big breakout trade. That trade will hit if DWCH manages to clear Wednesday's intraday high of $15.88 to some more key overhead resistance at $16.31 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in DWCH as long as it's trending above Wednesday's intraday low of $14.46 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 238,111 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then DWCH will set up to re-fill some of its previous gap-down-day zone from April that started just above $22.

Alcobra

Alcobra (ADHD), a biopharmaceutical company, focuses on the development and commercialization of proprietary drug candidates This stock closed up 5.8% to $18.99 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 387,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 91,324

Volume % Change: 326%

From a technical perspective, ADHD gapped sharply higher here back above its 200-day moving average of $18.64 with strong upside volume flows. This stock recently formed a double bottom chart pattern at $16.35 to $16.75. Following that bottom, shares of ADHD have started to rip higher and move within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if ADHD manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $19.96 to $21.33 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in ADHD as long as it's trending above Wednesday's intraday low of $18.34 or above its 50-day at $17.52 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 91,324 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then ADHD will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $22.25 to right around $25 to $25.50.

AcelRx Pharmaceuticals

AcelRx Pharmaceuticals (ACRX), a development stage specialty pharmaceutical company, focuses on the development and commercialization of therapies for the treatment of acute and breakthrough pain. This stock closed up 2.8% at $11.17 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 1.03 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 593,617

Volume % Change: 100%

From a technical perspective, ACRX ripped notably higher here with above-average volume. This stock has been uptrending over the last few trading sessions with strong upside volume flows. The spike higher on Wednesday is starting to push shares of ACRX within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit if ACRX manages to take out some key overhead resistance levels at $11.52 to $11.62 and then above $11.89 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in ACRX as long as it's trending above Wednesday's intraday low of $10.88 or above its 200-day moving average at $10.20 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 593,617 shares. If that breakout gets underway soon, then ACRX will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $13.40 to its 52-week high at $13.64.

CBS Outdoor Americas

CBS Outdoor Americas (CBSO) leases advertising space on out-of-home advertising structures and sites in the U.S., Canada and Latin America. This stock closed up 2% to $32.15 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 6.58 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 1.13 million

Volume % Change: 549%

From a technical perspective, CBSO jumped higher here right above some near-term support at $31.26 and back above its 50-day moving average of $31.78 with monster upside volume. This stock recently pulled back sharply off its all-time high of $35.69 to its recent low of $31.26 with heavy downside volume flows. Shares of CBSO are now starting to spike higher off that recent low with strong upside volume. Market players should now look for a continuation move to the upside in the short-term if CBSO manages to take out Wednesday's intraday high of $32.24 to some more resistance just above $32.50 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in CBSO as long as it's trending above some key near-term support at $31.26 or right around $31 and then once it sustains a move or close above $32.24 to $32.50 with volume that hits near or above 1.13 million shares. If we get that move soon, then CBSO will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $34 to its all-time high of $35.69.

Barracuda Networks

Barracuda Networks (CUDA) designs and delivers security and storage solutions. This stock closed up 6.5% at $33.09 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 301,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 168,971

Volume % Change: 95%

From a technical perspective, CUDA ripped sharply higher here and broke out above some near-term overhead resistance at $32 with above-average volume. This stock has been uptrending strong for the last month, with shares moving higher from its low of $26.91 to its intraday high of $33.17. During that uptrend, shares of CUDA have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. Market players should now look for a continuation move to the upside in the short-term if CUDA manages to take out Wednesday's intraday high of $33.17 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in CUDA as long as it's trending above Wednesday's intraday low at $31.20 and then once it sustains a move or close above $33.17 with volume that's near or above 168,971 shares. If that move gets started soon, then CUDA will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $35.50 to $36.50, or even $38.

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.