3 Stocks Rising on Unusual Volume

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.

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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.

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With that in mind, let's take a look at several stocks rising on unusual volume today.

Encore Capital Group

Encore Capital Group ( ECPG) provides debt management and recovery solutions for consumers and property owners across a broad range of assets. This stock closed up 3.3% to $47.45 in Friday's trading session.

Friday's Volume: 1.25 million
Three-Month Average Volume: 265,751
Volume % Change: 439%

From a technical perspective, ECPG spiked higher here right off its 50-day moving average of $46.50 with strong upside volume. This move briefly pushed shares of ECPG into breakout and new 52-week-high territory, since the stock flirted with some near-term overhead resistance at $50.92. Shares of ECPG closed well below that breakout level at $47.45. Traders should now look for a continuation move higher if ECPG can get back into new 52-week-high territory in the near-term.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in ECPG as long as it's trending above Friday's low of $46.17 or above some more key near-term support at $45.68, and then once it sustains a move or close above its new 52-week high at $51.95 with volume that hits near or above 265,751 shares. If we get that move soon, then ECPG will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that move are $55 to $60.

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