WINDERMERE, Fla. ( Stockpickr) -- Professional traders that run mutual funds and hedge funds don't just look at a stock's price moves; they also track big changes in volume activity. Many times when above-average volume moves into 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.

>>5 Stocks Poised to Pop off Strong Earnings

Let's take a look at a several stocks rising on unusual volume today. They are all recording volume in midday trading that is already at least 50% above their average trading volume for a full day.

Spectrum Pharmaceuticals ( SPPI) is a commercial stage biopharmaceutical company, engaged in developing and commercializing therapies with a focus primarily in the areas of hematology-oncology and urology. The stock is trading up 8% at $11.16 in recent trading.

Volume: 1.82 million

Average Volume: 1.03 million

Volume % Change: 265%

From a technical standpoint, this stock is approaching a major breakout now that we have seen this high-volume move today. Market players should put this stock on their trading radar for a strong-volume move above some past overhead resistance at its 52-week high of $11.36 a share. Look for a sustained move and close above that level to signal that another big spike is coming for the stock in the near-term.

Spectrum was included on a list of Hot Biotech Trades for Second-Half 2011.

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Momenta Pharmaceuticals ( MNTA) is a biotechnology company specializing in the characterization and process engineering of complex molecules. These complex molecules include proteins, polypeptides, and cell surface polysaccharides, such as heparan-sulfate proteoglycans. The stock is trading up 19.4% at $14.62 in recent trading.

Volume: 2.52 million

Average Volume: 1.17 million

Volume % Change: 254%

This stock is jumping higher today after the company said a court is keeping competition for its anti-clotting drug enoxaparin off the market.

From a technical standpoint, this stock is spiking above its 50-day moving average of $13.99 today with the high volume. Shares of Momenta are also breaking out today above some past overhead resistance at $13.98 a share. The stock still hasn't cleared its 200-day moving average of $16.06, so traders should watch for the stock to move above that level to trigger its next bullish technical signal.

>>10 Most-Shorted Stocks in Biotech

B&G Foods ( BGS) manufactures sells and distributes a diverse portfolio of branded shelf-stable food products. The stock is trading up 8% at $21.20 in recent trading.

Volume: 1.007 million

Average Volume: 430,712

Volume % Change: 475%

From a technical standpoint, this stock triggered a major breakout today off this high-volume move. Shares of B&G Foods cleared some major overhead resistance at around $21 to $21.06 a share in earlier trading, and hit $21.74 at the highs of the day so far. Market players should watch for a sustained move and close above $21.06 to signal that this stock wants to go higher.

The one area of caution for BGS is the current relative strength index reading, which is flashing an 80. Any reading over 70 is considered overbought on a stock. If you see this stock trade back below the breakout level of $21 with high volume, then avoid going long due to the overbought condition.

B&G is one of the top-yielding food and beverage stocks.

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Vistaprint ( VPRT) is an online provider of coordinated portfolios of customized marketing products and services to micro businesses worldwide. The stock is trading up 0.26% at $35.34 in recent trading.

Volume: 710,950

Average Volume: 1.203 million

Volume % Change: 53%

From a technical standpoint, this stock has just stared to breakout in the last couple of trading sessions on above average volume. The stock has cleared some major overhead resistance at $32.05 to $31.97 a share and has entered into a major gap-down zone from back in August. That gap down day saw the stock plunge from over $40 a share to a low of $26.26 a share. Now that this stock is breaking out with high volume, traders should look for a re-test of its 200-day moving average of $42.57 a share.

Medallion Financial ( TAXI) is a specialty finance company engaged in originating, acquiring and servicing loans that finance taxicab medallions and various types of commercial businesses. The stock is trading up 5.2% at $12.14 in recent trading.

Volume: 80,298

Average Volume: 75,717

Volume % Change: 83%

From a technical standpoint, this stock recently broke out above some major overhead resistance at around $10 a share on above average volume. Market players should now look for another big breakout to trigger if this stock can clear its all-time high, which sits near $14 a share. A high-volume move above that all-time should set off another spike higher for the stock since it will mean that anyone who has ever bought shares is making money.

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Open Text ( OTEX) is engaged in providing enterprise content management software solutions. Open Text builds software that combines collaboration and process optimization. The stock is trading up 1.27% at $61.66 in recent trading.

Volume: 312,006

Average Volume: 359,594

Volume % Change: 53%

From a technical standpoint, this stock is bouncing with high volume today right off its 200-day moving average of $58.71 a share. The stock has also triggered a major breakout now that shares are clearing some past overhead resistance at around $59.72 a share. Traders should now watch for a sustained move and close above $59.72 to trigger that this stock wants to go much higher. The next resistance levels for OTEX won't come into play until around $68 to $70 a share, so today's move could be trigger a much large run in the near-term.

Open Text is one of TheStreet Ratings' top-rated Internet stocks.

-- Written by Roberto Pedone in Winderemere, Fla.

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At the time of publication, author had no positions in stocks mentioned.

Roberto Pedone, based out of Windermere, Fla., is an independent trader who focuses on stocks, options, futures, commodities and currencies. He is also an outside contributor to Beconequity.com and maintains the website Maddmoney.net, which he sold to Blue Wave Advisors in 2008. Roberto studied International Business at The Milwaukee School of Engineering, and he spent a year overseas studying business in Lubeck, Germany.

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