4 Plays Soaring on Unusual Volume

Tickers in this article: GIL ARTC SODA HMST
WINDERMERE, Fla. ( 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.

Gildan Activewear (GIL)

This is a marketer and vertically-integrated globally manufacturer of basic, non-fashion apparel products for customers requiring an efficient supply chain and consistent product quality for high-volume replenishment programs. This stock is trading up 2.4% at $34.98 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 438,000

Average Volume: 332,223

Volume % Change: 96%

From a technical perspective, GIL is trending higher here right above its 50-day moving average of $33.11 with above-average volume. This move has started to push GIL into breakout territory, since the stock has challenged some near-term overhead resistance levels at $34.27 to $35.11. At last check, GIL has hit an intraday high of $35.21 and volume is well above its three-month average action of 332,223 shares.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in GIL as long as it's trending above those breakout levels with strong upside volume flows. I would consider any upside volume day that registers near or above 332,223 shares as bullish. If GIL can maintain that trend, then this stock will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $36.85 to $37.43.

HomeStreet (HMST)

This company operates as a full-service community bank serving consumers and businesses in the Pacific Northwest and Hawaii. This stock is trading up 4% at $24.50 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 96,000

Average Volume: 84,739

Volume % Change: 50%

From a technical perspective, HMST is spiking higher here right above some near-term support at $22.77 with above-average volume. This move is pushing the stock into all-time high territory, since HMST has taken out some near-term overhead resistance at $23.85 to $24. At last check, HMST has hit an intraday high of $24.68 and volume is just starting to surpass its three-month average action of 84,739 shares.