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.
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.>>5 Stocks Poised for Breakouts With that in mind, let's take a look at several stocks rising on unusual volume today. USA Truck USA Truck ( USAK) is a truckload carrier providing transportation of general commodities throughout the continental U.S., into and out of Mexico and into and out of portions of Canada. This stock closed up 3.2% at $13.26 in Monday's trading session. Monday's Volume: 261,000
Three-Month Average Volume: 114,771
Volume % Change: 135% >>5 Breakout Trades Under $10 From a technical perspective, USAK trended higher here right off some near-term support at $12.50 with above-average volume. This stock has been trending sideways and consolidating for the last few weeks, with shares moving between $12 on the downside and $14.25 on the upside. This spike higher on Monday is now starting to push shares of USAK within range of triggering a big breakout trade above the upper end of its recent range. That breakout will hit if USAK manages to take out Monday's high of $13.35 to its 52-week high at $14.25 with high volume. Traders should now look for long-biased trades in USAK as long as it's trending above $12.50 or above $12 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that's near or above 114,771 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then USAK will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $17 to $20.