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.

Summit Materials

  • Monday's Volume: 576,000
  • Three-Month Average Volume: 524,527
  • Volume % Change: 96%

Summit Materials  (SUM - Get Report), through its subsidiaries, produces and sells heavy-side construction materials and related downstream products. This stock is trading up 0.8% to $25.95 in Monday's trading session.

From a technical perspective, Summit Materials is spiking modestly higher here right off its 50-day moving average of $25.94 with above-average volume. This spike to the upside on Monday has briefly pushed shares of Summit Materials into breakout territory, since the stock has flirted with some near-term overhead resistance at $26.26. Shares of Summit Materials are now starting to trend within range of triggering another near-term breakout trade. That trade will trigger if this stock manages to take out Monday's intraday high of $26.79 to some more near-term overhead resistance at $27.31 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in Summit Materials as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $25.94 or its 20-day at $25.56 or even above support at $25 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 524,527 shares. If that breakout kicks off soon, then this stock will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $28.99 to its 52-week high of $29 a share.

Pampa Energia

  • Monday's Volume: 327,000
  • Three-Month Average Volume: 159,938
  • Volume % Change: 271%

Pampa Energia  (PAM - Get Report), an integrated electricity company, through its subsidiaries, engages in the electricity generation, transmission, and distribution in Argentina. This stock is trading up 5.1% to $16.80 in Monday's trading session.

From a technical perspective, Pampa Energia is ripping sharply higher here right off its 20-day moving average of $15.80 with strong upside volume flows. This stock recently formed a double bottom chart pattern at $14.65 to $14.81. Following that bottom, shares of Pampa Energia have started to rip higher with the stock moving back above its 20-day and now shares are quickly moving within range of triggering a big breakout trade. That trade will trigger if this stock manages to clear some key near-term overhead resistance levels at $17.61 to $17.80 and then above more resistance at $18.18 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in Pampa Energia as long as it's trending above its 20-day at $15.80 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 159,938 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then this stock will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $18.76 to its 52-week high of $19.77. Any high-volume move above $19.77 will then give this stock a chance to trend north of $20 a share.

Banco Macro

  • Monday's Volume: 173,000
  • Three-Month Average Volume: 122,814
  • Volume % Change: 166%


Banco Macro
  (BMA - Get Report) provides various banking products and services to individuals, entrepreneurs, and corporate customers in Argentina. This stock is trading up 3.8% to $48.68 in Monday's trading session.

From a technical perspective, Banco Macro is ripping higher here right off its 20-day moving average of $45.30 and back above both its 50-day at $47.07 and its 200-day at $48.16 with above-average volume. This stock has been uptrending over the last few weeks with strong upside volume flows, since shares have moved higher from its low of $41.17 to its intraday high of $48.54. During that uptrend, this stock has been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. Market players should now look for a continuation move to the upside in the short-term if shares of Banco Macro manage to clear Monday's intraday high of $48.54 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in Banco Macro as long as its trending above its 50-day at $47.07 or above more near-term support at $46 and then once it sustains a move or close above $48.54 with volume that hits near or above 122,814 shares. If that move gets started soon, then this stock will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $51.72 to $54 a share.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.