Stock Quotes in this Article: C, HPQ, HTHT, KB, TRV, WDC, EXAM

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.

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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.

Western Digital (WDC)

This company is a developer and manufacturer of storage products that enable people to create, manage, experience and preserve digital content. This stock is trading up 8.8% at $36.56 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 6.15 million

Average Volume: 3.80 million

Volume % Change: 198%

Shares of WDC are soaring today after the company declared a quarterly dividend of 25 cents.

From a technical perspective, WDC is bouncing hard right off some near-term support at $33.19 and back above its 50-day at $35.79 with heavy upside volume. This move is quickly pushing WDC within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit once WDC manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance at $37.16 and then once it clears its 200-day at $37.18 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in WDC as long as it’s trending above its 50-day at $35.79, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 3.80 million shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then WDC will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $39 to $40.52.

KB Financial Group (KB)

This company provides credit & related financial services to individuals & small & medium-sized enterprises. This stock is trading up 2.1% at $33.24 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 278,000

Average Volume: 122,145

Volume % Change: 271%

From a technical perspective, KB is trending higher here right off some near-term support at $32.50 with above-average volume. This move is quickly pushing KB within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit once KB manages to clear some near-term overhead resistance at $34.56 with high volume. That move would also push KB back above both its 50-day at $33.72 and its 200-day at $33.91.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in KB as long as it’s trending above $32.50, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 122,145 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then KB will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels $35.55 to $35.99. Any move above those levels will then give KB a chance to re-fill a previous gap down zone that started near $36.50.

Citigroup (C)

This is a global financial services holding company provides a range of financial products and services, including consumer banking, credit cards, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage and wealth management. This stock is trading up 6.2% at $36.45 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 48.62 million

Average Volume: 39.83 million

Volume % Change: 110%

Shares of C are soaring today after the company said it plans to cut 4% of its global staff or about 11,000 jobs in an effort to save as much as $1.1 billion a year.

From a technical perspective, C is exploding higher here back above its 50-day moving average of $35.63 with massive upside volume. This move is quickly pushing C within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit once C manages to clear some near-term overhead resistance levels at $36.42 to $37 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in C as long as it’s trending above its 50-day at $35.63, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 39.83 million shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then C will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $38.50 to $38.72. Any high-volume move above $38.72 will then push C into new 52-week high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets above its 52-week high are $40 to $43.

China Lodging Group (HTHT)

This is an economy hotel chain in China and mainly utilizes a lease-and-operate model, under which the company directly operates hotels that are typically located in prime locations of selected cities. This stock is trading up 3.5% at $16.25 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 78,000

Average Volume: 71,681

Volume % Change: 100%

From a technical perspective, HTHT is moving higher here right above its 200-day moving average of $13.79 with above-average volume. This move is quickly pushing HTHT within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit once HTHT manages to take out its 50-day at $16.66 and then once it clears some more overhead resistance levels at $17.09 to $17.55 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in HTHT as long as it’s trending above its 200-day at $13.79, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 71,681 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then HTHT will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $18.33 to $18.95.

Hewlett-Packard (HPQ)

This is a global provider of products, technologies, software, solutions & services to individual consumers, small- and medium-sized businesses and large enterprises, including customers in the government, health and education sectors. This stock is trading up 4.3% at $14.12 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 38.46 million

Average Volume: 30.30 million

Volume % Change: 108%

From a technical perspective, HPQ is trending higher here right above some near-term support at $13 with above-average volume. This stock has been downtrending badly for the last four months, with shares plunging from a high of $20.11 to a recent low of $11.35. During that move, shares of HPQ have been consistently making lower highs and lower lows, which is bearish technical price action. That said, shares of HPQ have started to bounce strongly off that low of $11.35 and its moving within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit once HPQ manages to take out its 50-day at $14.21 and then once it clears more overhead resistance levels at $14.48 to $14.85 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in HPQ as long as it’s trending near or above its 50-day at $14.21, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 30.30 million shares. If that breakout hits soon, then HPQ will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $17.62 to $18.56.

Travelers Companies (TRV)

This company is engaged in providing commercial and personal property and casualty insurance products and services to businesses, government units, associations and individuals. This stock is trading up 4.5% at $73.75 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 3.21 million

Average Volume: 2.51 million

Volume % Change: 109%

Shares of TRV are spiking higher today after the company said its net loss related to Superstorm Sandy will be about $650 million, on a gross loss of $1.135 billion. The company also announced that it plans to resume its share buyback program.

From a technical perspective, TRV is gapping higher here right above its 50-day moving average of $70.11 with above-average volume. This move is quickly pushing TRV within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit once TRV manages to clear its 52-week high of $74.70 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in TRV as long as it’s trending above $71.32, and then once it sustains a move or close above $74.70 with volume that hits near or above 2.51 million shares. If that breakout hits soon, then TRV will set up to enter new 52-week high territory, which is bullish technical price action. A possible upside targets off that breakout is $80 in the near future.

ExamWorks Group (EXAM)

This company is a provider of independent medical examinations (IMEs), peer and bill reviews, and related services, which it collectively refers to as IME services or the IME industry. This stock is trading up 5.9% at $12.57 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 153,000

Average Volume: 118,679

Volume % Change: 140%

From a technical perspective, EXAM is gapping up sharply here off some near-term support at $11.85 with above-average volume. This move is quickly pushing EXAM within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit once EXAM manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at its 200-day of $12.73 and then some more overhead resistance at $12.74 with high volume. At last check, EXAM has hit an intraday high of $12.73 and volume is well above its three-month average action of 118,679 shares.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in EXAM once it manages to sustain a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 118,679 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then EXAM will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at its 50-day of $13.48 and at $14.09. Any high-volume move above $14.09 will then put $14.50 to $15.15 into focus for shares of EXAM.

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.