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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.

Major moves in volume can signal unusual activity, such as insider buying or selling -- or buying or selling by "superinvestors."

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.

Autohome

Autohome (ATHM) - Get Autohome Inc. Report operates as an online destination for automobile consumers in the People's Republic of China. This stock closed up 1.7% to $44.65 in Friday's trading session.

Friday's Volume: 3.62 million
Three-Month Average Volume: 926,373
Volume % Change: 389%

From a technical perspective, ATHM bounced modestly higher here right above some near-term support at $42.50 with heavy upside volume. This stock has been downtrending badly for the last month, with shares dropping from its high of $57.92 to its recent low of $41.31. During that downtrend, shares of ATHM have been consistently making lower highs and lower lows, which is bearish technical price action. That said, shares of ATHM are now starting to reverse that trend right above its 50-day moving average and the stock could be preparing for a rebound to the upside.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in ATHM as long as it's trending above some near-term support at $42.50 or above its 50-day at $41.17 and then once it sustains a move or close above Friday's intraday high of $45.94 with volume that hits near or above 926,373 shares. If that move starts soon, then ATHM will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $49.37 to $51.88.

Shenandoah Telecommunications

Shenandoah Telecommunications (SHEN) - Get Shenandoah Telecommunications Company Report , a diversified telecommunications holding company, provides both regulated and unregulated telecommunications services to end-user customers and other telecommunications providers in Virginia, West Virginia, central Pennsylvania, and western Maryland. This stock closed up 7% to $29.55 in Friday's trading session.

Friday's Volume: 207,000
Three-Month Average Volume: 64,397
Volume % Change: 220%

From a technical perspective, SHEN ripped sharply higher here back above both its 200-day moving average at $27.46 and its 50-day moving average of $28.38 with above-average volume. This strong spike to the upside on Friday also pushed shares of SHEN into breakout territory, since the stock took out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $28.64 to $29. Market players should now look for a continuation move to the upside in the short-term if SHEN manages to take out Friday's intraday high of $29.55 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in SHEN as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $28.38 or above its 200-day at $27.46 and then once it sustains a move or close above $29.55 with volume that hits near or above 64,397 shares. If that move gets started soon, then SHEN will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $31.10 to $31.50 or even $33 to its 52-week high at $33.99.

Intrepid Potash

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Intrepid Potash (IPI) - Get Intrepid Potash, Inc. Report , together with its subsidiaries, produces and markets muriate of potash and langbeinite in the U.S. This stock closed up 5.1% at $16.13 in Friday's trading session.

Friday's Volume: 2.05 million
Three-Month Average Volume: 816,136
Volume % Change: 193%

From a technical perspective, IPI ripped sharply higher here right above its 50-day moving average of $15.24 and back above its 200-day moving average of $15.53 with strong upside volume flows. This sharp push higher on Friday also pushed shares of IPI into breakout territory, since the stock took out some near-term overhead resistance at $15.97. Market players should now look for a continuation move higher in the short-term if IPI manages to clear Friday's intraday high of $16.25 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in IPI as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $15.24 and then once it sustains a move or close above $16.24 with volume that's near or above 816,136 shares. If that move materializes soon, then IPI will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $17 to its 52-week high at $17.64. Any high-volume move above those levels will then give IPI a chance to make a run at $20.

Noodles & Company

Noodles & Company (NDLS) - Get Noodles & Co. Class A Report develops and operates fast casual restaurants in the U.S. This stock closed up 3.7% at $19.57 in Friday's trading session.

Friday's Volume: 860,000
Three-Month Average Volume: 458,178
Volume % Change: 110%

From a technical perspective, NDLS trended notably higher here right above some near-term support at $18 with above-average volume. This stock recently gapped down sharply lower from around $25 to $19.54 with heavy downside volume. Following that move, shares of NDLS continued to trend lower with the stock hitting a new 52-week low of $17.15. That said, shares of NDLS have now started to reverse its downtrend with shares trading above higher and tagging an intraday high of $20.13 on Friday. Market players should now look for a continuation move to the upside in the short-term if NDLS manages to clear Friday's intraday high of $20.13 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in NDLS as long as it's trending above some near-term support at $18 and then once it sustains a move or close above Friday's intraday high of $20.13 with volume that's near or above 458,178 shares. If that move begins soon, then NDLS will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance level at $22.58. Any high-volume move above $22.58 will then give NDLS a chance to re-fill some of its previous gap-down-day zone from August that started near $26.

To see more stocks rising on unusual volume, check out the Stocks Rising on Unusual Volume portfolio on Stockpickr.

-- Written by Roberto Pedone in Delafield, Wis.

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At the time of publication, author had no positions in stocks mentioned. Roberto Pedone, based out of Delafield, Wis., is an independent trader who focuses on technical analysis for small- and large-cap stocks, options, futures, commodities and currencies. Roberto studied international business at the Milwaukee School of Engineering, and he spent a year overseas studying business in Lubeck, Germany. His work has appeared on financial outlets including CNBC.com and Forbes.com. You can follow Pedone on Twitter at www.twitter.com/zerosum24 or @zerosum24.