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.
Monday's Volume: 493,000
Three-Month Average Volume: 279,394
Volume % Change: 89%
From a technical perspective, OAK jumped modestly higher here right above some near-term support at $49.13 with above-average volume. This stock has been trending sideways and consolidating for the last month, with shares moving between $49.13 on the downside and $51.53 on the upside. This spike higher on Monday is starting to push shares of OAK within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade above the upper-end of its recent range. That trade will hit if OAK manages to take out Monday's intraday high of $50.74 to some resistance at $51.53 with high volume.
Traders should now look for long-biased trades in OAK as long as it's trending above Monday's low of $49.99 or above more key support at $49.13 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that's near or above 279,394 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then OAK will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at its 50-day moving average of $52.64 to its 200-day moving average of $53.69. Any high-volume move above those levels will then give OAK a chance to tag $54.34 to $56, or even $57.