Stock Quotes in this Article: AWI, PWRD, TRS, TXRH, SSTK, WPX, VLCK

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.

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.

With that in mind, let's take a look at several stocks rising on unusual volume today.

WPX Energy (WPX)

This is an independent natural gas and oil exploration and production company engaged in the exploitation and development of long-life unconventional properties. This stock closed up 4.6% at $19.47 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 3.23 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 2 million

Volume % Change: 170%

From a technical perspective, WPX ripped sharply higher here right above some near-term support at $18.40 and back above its 50-day moving average of $19.21 with above-average volume. This stock has been trending sideways for the last three months and change, with shares moving between $21.11 on the upside and $18.10 on the downside. Shares of WPX are now quickly moving within range of triggering a big breakout trade above the upper-end of its recent sideways trading chart pattern. That trade will hit if WPX manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance at $19.81 to $20.36 and then once it takes out more resistance at $20.56 to its 52-week high at $21.12 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in WPX as long as it's trending above support at $18.40, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that's near or above 2 million shares. If that breakout hits soon, then WPX will set up to enter new 52-week high territory above $21.12, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $25 to $27.

Shutterstock (SSTK)

This company operates marketplace for commercial digital imagery. This stock closed up 8% at $58.05 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 249,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 122,480

Volume % Change: 105%

From a technical perspective, SSTK skyrocketed higher here back above its 50-day moving average of $54.76 with above-average volume. This move pushed shares of SSTK into breakout territory, since this stock took out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $53.99 to $55.66. Shares of SSTK are now quickly moving within range of triggering another major breakout trade. That trade will hit if SSTK manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance at $58.18 and then once it clears its all-time high at $60.95 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in SSTK as long as it's trending above $55.66, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that's near or above 122,480 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then SSTK will set up to enter new all-time high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $65 to $70.

TriMas (TRS)

This is a manufacturer and distributor of engineered and applied products serving focused markets in a range of commercial, industrial and consumer applications. This stock closed up 3.8% at $36.90 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 3.70 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 215,514

Volume % Change: 1772%

From a technical perspective, TRS trended higher here right above some near-term support at $34.99 with heavy upside volume. This stock has been trending sideways inside of a consolidation chart pattern for the last month and change, with shares moving between $34.69 on the downside and $39.10 on the upside. This move on Wednesday is starting to push shares of TRS within range of triggering a breakout trade above the upper-end of its recent sideways trading chart pattern. That trade will hit if TRS manages to take out its 50-day at $37.32 and then once it clears more near-term overhead resistance levels at $38.49 to $39.10 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in TRS as long as it's trending above $35, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that's near or above 215,514 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then TRS will set up to re-test or possibly take out its 52-week high at $40.79. Any high-volume move above that level will then give TRS a chance to tag $45.

Armstrong World Industries (AWI)

This company is a producer of flooring products and ceiling systems for use mainly in the construction and renovation of residential, commercial and institutional buildings. This stock closed up 1.6% at $53.07 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 880,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 335,709

Volume % Change: 178%

From a technical perspective, AWI bounced modestly higher here right above its 200-day moving average of $51.47 with above-average volume. This stock has been uptrending strong for the last few weeks, with shares moving higher from its low of $47.51 to its intraday high of $53.07. During that uptrend, shares of AWI have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now pushed shares of AWI within range of triggering a key breakout trade. That trade will hit if AWI manages to take out Wednesday's high of $53.44 and then once it clears some past overhead resistance at $54.45 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in AWI as long as it's trending above its 200-day at $51.47 or above $51, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that's near or above 335,709 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then AWI will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $57.50 to $58.50.

ValueClick (VCLK)

This company offers a suite of products and services that enable marketers to engage with their current and potential customers online and through mobile devices to increase brand awareness and generate leads and sales. This stock closed up 3.7% at $22.24 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 1.69 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 1.08 million

Volume % Change: 105%

From a technical perspective, VCLK jumped higher here right above some near-term support at $21 with high volume. This stock recently formed a double bottom chart pattern at $20.31 to $20.55. Since forming that bottom, shares of VCLK have started to uptrend and move within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit if VCLK manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $22.48 to its 50-day moving average of $23.01 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in VCLK as long as it's trending above some near-term support levels at $21 or $20.55, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that's near or above 1.08 million shares. If that breakout hits soon, then VCLK will set up to re-fill some of its previous gap down zone from August that started at $25.50. This stock could even hit $26 to $27 if that gap gets filled with strong upside volume flows.

Perfect World (PWRD)

This is an online game developer and operator in China. It develops online games based on proprietary game engines and game development platforms. This stock closed up 1.3% at $21.28 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 1.22 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 781,477

Volume % Change: 135%

From a technical perspective, PWRD jumped modestly higher here right off its 20-day moving average of $20.30 with strong upside volume. This stock has been uptrending strong for the last month, with shares moving higher from its low of $18.50 to its intraday high of $21.55. During that move, shares of PWRD have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now pushed shares of PWRD within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit if PWRD manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $22 to its 52-week high at $22.82 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in PWRD as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $20.30, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that's near or above 781,477 shares. If we get that move soon, then PWRD will set up to enter new 52-week high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are its next major overhead resistance levels at $26 to $28.

Texas Roadhouse (TXRH)

This company is a growing, moderately priced, full-service, casual dining restaurant chain. It operates approximately 365 restaurants in 47 states. This stock closed up 0.52% at $25.10 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 1.44 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 619,145

Volume % Change: 150%

From a technical perspective, TXRH bounced modestly higher here right off its 50-day moving average of $24.83 with strong upside volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of TXRH within range of triggering a big breakout trade. That trade will hit if TXRH manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance at $25.52 and then once it clears its 52-week high at $25.99 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in TXRH as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $24.83 or above more near-term support at $24.41, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that's near or above 619,145 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then TXRH will set up to enter new 52-week high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that move are $30 to $33.

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.

 

RELATED LINKS:

 

 

 

 

Follow Stockpickr on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.

 

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.