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.
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 that were rising on unusual volume Wednesday. Progressive Progressive (PGR - Get Report), which provides personal and commercial automobile insurance and other property-casualty insurance and related services throughout the U.S., closed up 2.7% at $21.68 on Wednesday. Wednesday's Volume: 15.58 million Average Volume: 6.05 million Volume % Change: 350% From a technical perspective, PGR gapped higher here back above its 50-day moving average of $21.40 with monster upside volume. This move is quickly pushing PGR within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if PGR manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $21.77 to $21.87 with high volume. Traders should now look for long-biased trades in PGR as long as it's trending above its 200-day at $20.47, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 6.05 million shares. If that breakout hits soon, then PGR will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $22.17 to $22.37. Tiffany Tiffany (TIF - Get Report), which operates as a jeweler and specialty retailer, closed up 2.7% at $58.93 on Wednesday. Wednesday's Volume: 5.36 million