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.
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.>>Outwit the S&P in 2013 With 5 Hated Stocks With that in mind, let's take a look at several stocks rising on unusual volume today. Axis Capital (AXS) This company provides a range of insurance and reinsurance products to insureds and reinsureds worldwide operations with main locations in Bermuda, the United States and Europe. This stock is trading up 2.2% at $35.86 in recent trading. Today's Volume: 1.23 million Average Volume: 672,189 Volume % Change: 228% Shares of AXS are moving higher today after a Wells Fargo analyst said the acquisition of Alterra, which is based in Bermuda, should boost the share prices of other Bermuda based companies that are trading significantly below their book values. Allied World (AWH), AXIS Capital (AXS), Endurance Specialty (ENH - Get Report), Montpelier Re (MRH), Platinum Underwriters (PTP), and Validus (VR) are examples of such companies, the analyst said. From a technical perspective, AXS is bouncing higher here right above some near-term support at $34.91 with above-average volume. This move is quickly pushing AXS within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit once AXS takes out some near-term overhead resistance at $36.46 with high volume. At last check, AXS has hit an intraday high of $36.61 and volume is well above its three-month average action of 672,189 shares. Traders should now look for long-biased trades in AXS as long as it's trending above its $34.91, and then once it sustains a move or close above $36.46 to $36.61 with volume that hits near or above 672,189 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then AXS will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance level at $38.80.