8 Stocks Ripping Higher on Unusual Volume

Tickers in this article: SRPT JCP RXN PDCE ANN
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.

Ann (ANN)

This is a national specialty retailer of women's apparel, shoes and accessories sold mainly under the 'Ann Taylor' and 'LOFT' brands. This stock is trading up 7.7% at $34.94 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 2.42 million

Average Volume: 1.04 million

Volume % Change: 280%

Shares of ANN are soaring today after the company said its net income jumped 26% in the fiscal third quarter on better sales at both Ann Taylor and Ann Taylor Loft stores.

From a technical perspective, ANN is ripping higher here right off some previous support at $32.38 with above-average volume. This move is quickly pushing ANN within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit once ANN manages to take out its 50-day at $35.63 and then once it clears some more overhead resistance at $36.29 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in ANN once it manages to sustain a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 1.04 million shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then ANN will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $38.04 to $39.78. Any move above $39.78 will then push ANN into new 52-week high territory, which is bullish technical price action.

PDC Energy (PDCE)

This company is a domestic independent exploration and production company that acquires, develops, explores, and produces natural gas, NGLs, and crude oil. This stock is trading up 6% at $34.38 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 913,000

Average Volume: 440,600

Volume % Change: 234%

From a technical perspective, PDCE is ripping higher here right off its 50-day moving average of $30.95 with above-average volume. This move has started to push PDCE into breakout territory, since the stock has taken out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $34.15 to $34.25. At last check, PDCE has hit an intraday high of $34.60. Shares of PDCE are now moving within range of another major breakout trade. That trade will hit once it manages to take out some past overhead resistance at $36.03 with high volume.