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. 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."

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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.

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.

CVD Equipment

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CVD Equipment ( CVV) designs, develops and manufactures customized equipment and process solutions used to develop and manufacture solar, nano and advanced electronic components, materials and coatings for research and industrial applications. The stock is trading up 7.9% at $17.00 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 647,000

Average Volume: 158,092

Volume % Change: 800%

This stock is spiking sharply to the upside today after the company announced record revenue and income for the three and nine months ending on September 30, 2011.

From a technical standpoint, this stock is quickly approaching a major breakout if it can manage to sustain a move and close above some past overhead resistance at $17.50 on high volume. The stock hit $17.84 today, and volume is extremely strong, but shares have since traded back below $17.50 at last check.

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Market players should now watch for the stock to close above $17.50 and $17.84 in the coming days or weeks to signal that the stock wants to re-test its September high at $19.76. Any failure to get back above those levels would have me avoiding this stock, or looking for short setups on a move below its 50-day moving average of $15.54.

Woodward

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Woodward ( WWD) is a designer, manufacturer and service provider of energy control and optimization solutions. The stock is trading up 7.7% at $38.50 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 642,000

Average Volume: 335,803

Volume % Change: 217%

This stock is spiking strong today after the company said its fourth quarter profit jumped 28% as revenue from its aerospace and energy businesses both climbed higher.

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From a technical standpoint, this stock is triggering a big breakout on high-volume above some past overhead resistance levels at $36.31 and $37.12. Traders should now watch for a sustained move and close above those levels to signal this stock wants to trend much higher. The next significant overhead resistance level will come into play at $39.35.

If the stock can take out $39.35 on high volume in the near future, then look for this stock to trend towards its all-time high near $50.

Clean Energy Fuels

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Clean Energy Fuels ( CLNE), together with its wholly owned subsidiaries, is engaged in the business of selling natural gas fueling solutions to its customers, primarily in the U.S. and Canada. The stock is trading up 3.5% at $12.15 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 1,035,000

Average Volume: 1,180,570

Volume % Change: 91%

From a technical standpoint, this stock is starting to trade back above its 50-day moving average today on solid volume. Market players should look to get long this stock off any weakness as long as shares remain above the 50-day at the close. Avoid this trade if shares drop back below the 50-day in the near-term.

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If you get long, add to any position once it then moves back above the 200-day moving average of $13.53 on high volume. Look for volume that's tracking in close to or above its three-month average action of 1,180,570 shares.

Focus Media

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Focus Media ( FMCN) operates an interactive digital media network. The firm offers interactive digital media platforms aimed at Chinese consumers. This stock is trading up 4.6% at $24.92 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 2,500,000

Average Volume: 1,775,520

Volume % Change: 53%

This stock trending higher today on solid volume in front of its earnings report, which is scheduled for Thursday.

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From a technical standpoint, this stock is currently trading below both its 50-day and 200-day moving averages, which is bearish. Traders should to play this stock for a post-earnings trade if shares can manage to breakout above some past overhead resistance levels.

I would wait until after Focus Media reports earnings, and then look for long trades on a high-volume breakout above $28 to $29.14 (200-day). Look for volume that's tracking in close to or above its three-month average action of 1,775,520 shares. I would get short this stock after earnings if it drops below some previous support at $21 on high-volume.

21Vianet Group

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21Vianet Group ( VNET) is a carrier-neutral Internet data center services provider in China. The stock is trading up 7.8% at $10 in recent trading

Today's Volume: 1,317,000

Average Volume: 227,854

Volume % Change: 1082%

This stock is spiking big today after the company reported a third-quarter net income, reversing a loss, as net revenues more than doubled on a jump in demand for its services.

From a technical standpoint, this has been stuck in a massive downtrend for the past couple of months where shares have been making lower highs and lower lows. Off the news today, the stock is now trading close to its 50-day moving average of $10.10.

Traders should look to get long this stock if it can manage to close above the 50-day on heavy volume. The volume is already well above the three-month average today, so look to get long if shares can sustain a move and close over that 50-day.

Colfax

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Colfax ( CFX) is a global supplier of a range of fluid handling products, including pumps, fluid handling systems and controls and specialty valves. The stock is trading up 5.3% at $28.71 in recent trading

Today's Volume: 726,000

Average Volume: 631,789

Volume % Change: 155%

This stock is trading higher today after UBS upgraded the stock to buy from neutral.

From a technical standpoint, this stock is starting to break out today above some major overhead resistance at $28.75 to $28.76 on decent volume. Market players should now watch for a sustained move and close above $28.76 on high-volume to trigger a potentially a larger move higher. Look for volume at the close that registers well above the three-month average of 631,789 shares.

If you see that kind of volume and the stock finishes above those breakout levels, then look for higher prices in the near-term as long as the breakout levels hold.

-- 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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