DELAFIELD, Wis. (Stockpickr) -- Professional traders running mutual funds a.0nd 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.

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ITC Holdings

ITC Holdings (ITC) , together with its subsidiaries, engages in the transmission of electricity in the U.S. This stock is trading up 2.1% to $36.49 in Friday's trading session.

Friday's Volume: 980,000
Three-Month Average Volume: 1.35 million
Volume % Change: 50%

From a technical perspective, ITC is ripping higher here right above some near-term support at $34.94 with decent upside volume flows. This stock has been downtrending badly for the last three months and change, with shares moving lower from its high of $43.92 to its recent low of $34.94. During that downtrend, shares of ITC have been making mostly lower highs and lower lows, which is bearish technical price action. That said, shares of ITC are now starting to rebound off that recent low of $34.94 and it's beginning to trend within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will trigger if ITC manages to take out some key near-term overhead resistance levels at $37 to $37.93 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in ITC as long as it's trending above Friday's intraday low of $35.56 or above some more near-term support at $34.94 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 1.35 million shares. If that breakout hits soon, then ITC will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $39 to $40.50, or even $42.

Western Digital

Western Digital (WDC) - Get Report, through its subsidiaries, develops, manufactures and sells data storage solutions that enable consumers, businesses, governments and other organizations to create, manage, experience and preserve digital content. This stock is trading up 1.7% to $99.54 in Friday's trading session.

Friday's Volume: 1.45 million
Three-Month Average Volume: 2.19 million
Volume % Change: 50%

From a technical perspective, WDC is spiking higher here and showing relative strength versus the overall market weakness with decent upside volume flows. This stock has been uptrending strong over the last month, with shares moving higher from its low of $89.82 to its current intraday high of $100.08. During that uptrend, shares of WDC have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now pushed shares of WDC within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if WDC manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at its 50-day moving average of $100.30 to some more near-term overhead resistance at $100.81 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in WDC as long as it's trending above some near-term support levels at $97.50 or at $95 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that registers near or above 2.19 million shares. If that breakout gets started soon, then WDC will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $105 to $110.

iGate

iGate (IGTE) , through its subsidiaries, provides information technology and IT-enabled operations offshore outsourcing solutions and services to large and medium-size organizations. This stock is trading up 5.3% to $44.59 in Friday's trading session.

Friday's Volume: 844,000
Three-Month Average Volume: 376,613
Volume % Change: 348%

From a technical perspective, IGTE is gapping sharply higher here and breaking out above some near-term overhead resistance levels at $43.92 to $44.11 with heavy upside volume flows. This sharp move to the upside is now pushing shares of IGTE within range of triggering another big breakout trade. That trade will trigger if IGTE manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at Friday's current intraday high of $45.50 to its 52-week high of $45.72 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in IGTE as long as it's trending above Friday's intraday low of $43.65 or above more near-term support at $42 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 376,613 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then IGTE will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that move are $50 to $55.

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