MADISON, Wis. ( 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." >>5 Stocks Poised for Breakouts 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 today. >>5 Toxic Stocks You Need to Sell Meritage Homes Meritage Homes ( MTH) is a designer and builder of single-family attached and detached homes in the historically high-growth regions of the southern and western U.S., based on the number of home closings. This stock is trading up 5.2% at $47.46 in recent trading. Today's Volume: 883,000
Average Volume: 614,902
Volume % Change: 214% Shares of MTH are ripping higher here after the company delivered a better-than-expected profit and beat Wall Street's revenue expectation. >>5 Hated Earnings Stocks That Deserve Your Love From a technical perspective, MTH is trending higher here right above its previous close at $45.09 with above-average volume. This stock has been uptrending strong for the last few weeks, with shares soaring higher from its low of $39.02 to its intraday high of $47.84. During that move, shares of MTH have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move is quickly pushing shares of MTH within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if MTH manages to take out its 52-week high at $48.62 with high volume. Traders should now look for long-biased trades in MTH as long as it's trending above today's low at $45.36 or above Tuesday's close at $45.09 and then once it sustains a move or close above its 52-weeek high at $48.62 with volume that hits near or above 614,902 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then MTH 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 $53.