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.

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 Under $10 With Big Upside Potential

Let's take a look at several stocks rising on unusual volume today.

Zumiez

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Zumiez ( ZUMZ) is a mall-based specialty retailer of action sports related apparel, footwear, equipment and accessories operating under the Zumiez brand name. The stock is trading up 19% at $27.99 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 1,250,000

Average Volume: 428,725

Volume % Change: 652%

This stock is ripping big today after the company topped quarterly earnings expectations yet again and posted higher-than-expected sales in November. (I featured the stock earlier this week in " 5 Earnings Stocks That Could Squeeze the Bears.")

From a technical standpoint, this stock has triggered a major breakout today now that shares have traded above some past overhead resistance at $25 a share on monster volume. Traders should now watch for another big breakout to trigger if ZUMZ can manage to sustain a move and close above some more overhead resistance levels at $29.50 and $31. A high-volume move and close above those levels will set this stock up to re-test its next significant overhead resistance level at $33.13.

Education Management

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Education Management ( EDMC) is a provider of post-secondary education in North America, with approximately 158,300 enrolled students as of October 2010. The stock is trading up 4.3% at $23.50 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 217,000

Average Volume: 160,927

Volume % Change: 340%

From a technical standpoint, this stock is starting to trigger a breakout trade today now that the stock is clearing some past overhead resistance at $22.95 on heavy volume.

A sustained move and close above that level should set this stock up to trend back toward its next significant overhead resistance level $28.61.

Lululemon Athletica

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Lululemon Athletica ( LULU) is a designer and retailer of technical athletic apparel operating primarily in North America and Australia. The stock is trading up 4% at $49.14 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 5,100,000

Average Volume: 3,783,970

Volume % Change: 258%

This stock is ripping today after the company said its third-quarter earnings jumped to $38.8 million, or 27 cents per share, from $25.7 million, or 18 cents per share, last year. Revenue also rose 31%, to $230.2 million, on a 16% increase in same-store sales.

From a technical standpoint, this stock has still failed to stay above both its 200-day and 50-day moving averages, despite the bullish earnings news today. This sets the stock up for a short sale as long as it closes below $50.

I would look to sell this stock short as long as it stays below $50 and its 50-day moving average at $52.12.

Lululemon is the top holding in Columbia Wanger Asset Management's portfolio as well as one of the top holdings at Vinik Asset Management.

Ulta Salon Cosmetics & Fragrance

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Ulta Salon Cosmetics & Fragrance ( ULTA) operates specialty retail stores selling cosmetics, fragrance, haircare and skincare products, and related accessories and services. This stock is trading up 4.6% at $73.08 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 1,300,000

Average Volume: 1,051,380

Volume % Change: 204%

This stock, another of my earnings short-squeeze plays this week, is spiking big today after the company posted a better-than-expected quarterly profit as more beauty-conscious customers bought their products. Third-quarter net income soared to $26.8 million, or 42 cents a share, vs. $14.2 million, or 23 cents a share, a year ago. Revenue rose 22% to $413.1 million and same-store sales also jumped 10%.

From a technical standpoint, this stock has started to flirt with some big breakout levels today off of its strong earnings report. Traders should now watch for a sustained high-volume move and close above $74.38 to $75.69 in the coming days or weeks. If we get that breakout on volume that's close to or above 1,051,380, then I would look to get long this stock for a run towards $100.

G-III Apparel Group

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G-III Apparel Group ( GIII) designs, manufactures and markets a range of outerwear, women's sportswear and dresses, including coats, jackets, pants, women's suits and women's performance wear. This stock is trading up 3.6% at $18.01 in recent trading

Today's Volume: 172,000

Average Volume: 290,414

Volume % Change: 74%

This stock is catching a bid today as investors swoop in to own shares in front of their quarterly earnings report which is slated for next week.

From a technical standpoint, this stock looks like it is forming a bottom and is attracting some value investors since shares of GIII have been so beaten down in the last few months. This stock has dropped from its July high near $40, to a recent low of $17.31. This huge plunge has created an oversold condition, since the relative strength index (RSI) reading is now 27. Any RSI reading of 30 or below is considered oversold.

>>4 Beaten-Down Stocks Poised for Rebounds

Oversold can stay oversold for a long time, but since we're seeing some high-volume buying move into the stock today, then GIII could be hitting a bottom. Traders should look to play the next major breakout for GIII, which will trigger once this stock moves above $19 on volume that's close to or greater than 290, 414 shares.

Coffee Holding

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Coffee Holding ( JVA) is an integrated wholesale coffee roaster and dealer in the United States. This stock is trading up 6% at $10.04 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 618,000

Average Volume: 982.511

Volume % Change: 50%

From a technical standpoint, this stock has started to move back above its 50-day moving average of $9.79 today on heavy volume. Traders should now watch for a sustained move and close on high volume above $9.79 and then $11.26 (its 200-day) and $11.65. If we clear all of those levels with volume, then I would target a run back toward the next significant overhead resistance level at $14.39.

To see more stocks rising on unusual volume, including Francesca's ( FRAN), Ascena Retail Group ( ASNA) and Skyworks Solutions ( SWKS), check out the Stocks Rising On Unusual Volume portfolio on Stockpickr.

-- 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.