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 rising on unusual volume today. >>5 Rocket Stocks to Buy as Stocks Drop J.C. Penny J.C. Penny's (JCP - Get Report) business consists of selling merchandise and services to consumers through its department stores and direct channels. It sells family apparel and footwear, accessories and fine and fashion jewelry. This stock is trading up 8.7% at $16.83 in recent trading. Today's Volume: 21.60 million Average Volume: 12.43 million Volume % Change: 179% From a technical perspective, JCP is spiking higher here right above some near-term support around $15 with heavy upside volume. This stock recently gapped down from around $21 to $16.57 with heavy downside volume. Following that gap, shares of JCP continued to move lower and hit a recent low of $14.20. This stock has now started to rebound and uptrend off that $14.20 low and it's quickly moving within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if JCP manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $16.33 to $18 and then once it clears its 50-day moving average of $18.67 with high volume. Traders should now look for long-biased trades in JCP as long as it's trending above $16.33, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 12.43 million shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then JCP will set up to re-fill some of its previous gap down zone from last month that started near $21.