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 Big Trades to Take in December With that in mind, let's take a look at several stocks rising on unusual volume today. Icon Icon ( ICLR) is a contract research organization that provides outsourced development services to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device industries. This stock closed up 4.4% at $39.58 in Friday's trading session. Friday's Volume: 686,000
Three-Month Average Volume: 352,864
Volume % Change: 85% From a technical perspective, ICLR spiked sharply higher here with above-average volume. This stock has been downtrending over the last month and change, with shares dropping from its high of $44.23 to its recent low of $36.42. During that move, shares of ICLR have been consistently making lower highs and lower lows, which is bearish technical price action. That said, the downside volatility for ICLR now looks over in the short-term since the stock has come off that low with volume. Traders should now look for long-biased trades in ICLR as long as it's trending above Friday's low of $37.97 and then once it sustains a move or close above Friday's high of $39.87 to some more near-term overhead resistance at $41.44 with volume that hits near or above 352,864 shares. If we get that move soon, then ICLR will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $43 to its 52-week high at $44.23.