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.
With that in mind, let's take a look at several stocks rising on unusual volume recently.
Mid-America Apartment Communities
Mid-America Apartment Communities (MAA - Get Report) is an independent real estate investment trust. The firm invests in the real estate markets of the U.S. This stock closed up 0.7% to $72.35 in Friday's trading session.
Friday's Volume: 1.05 million
Three-Month Average Volume: 446,588
Volume % Change: 205%
From a technical perspective, MAA trended modestly higher here right above some near-term support at $71 to $70.76 with strong upside volume flows. This stock has been uptrending strong for the last six months, with shares moving higher from its low of $57.91 to its recent high of $72.89. During that uptrend, shares of MAA have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. This spike higher on Friday is starting to push shares of MAA within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if MAA manages to take out Friday's intraday high of $72.58 to some more near-term overhead resistance levels at $72.80 to its 52-week high at $72.89 with high volume.
Traders should now look for long-biased trades in MAA as long as it's trending above some key near-term support levels at $71 or at $70.76 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 446,588 shares. If that breakout materializes soon, then MAA will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $78 to $80.