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.
Blackhawk Network (HAWK) provides various prepaid products and payment services. This stock closed up 9.5% at $27.53 in Wednesday's trading session.
Wednesday's Volume: 1.44 million
Three-Month Average Volume: 316,148
Volume % Change: 342%
From a technical perspective HAWK skyrocketed higher here back above its 50-day moving average of $26.09 with strong upside volume. This move also briefly pushed shares of HAWK into breakout territory, since the stock flirted with some near-term overhead resistance at $28.24. Shares of HAWK closed just below that level at $27.53. Market players should now look for a continuation move higher in the short-term if HAWK manages to take out Friday's high of $28.51 to its all-time high at $29.73 with high volume.
Traders should now look for long-biased trades in HAWK as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $26.09 and then once it sustains a move or close above $28.51 to $29.73 with volume that this near or above 316,148 shares. If we get that move soon, then HAWK will set up to enter new all-time-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that move are $35 to $40.