DELAFIELD, 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.

>>5 Stocks Set to Soar on Bullish Earnings

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 Ready to Break Out

With that in mind, let's take a look at several stocks rising on unusual volume recently.

Gentherm

Gentherm (THRM - Get Report) designs, develops and manufactures thermal management technologies and cable systems worldwide. This stock closed up 2.7% at $39.83 in Monday's trading session.

Monday's Volume: 958,000
Three-Month Average Volume: 582,157
Volume % Change: 65%

From a technical perspective, THRM moved higher here right off some near-term support at $38 with above-average volume. This stock has been uptrending strong for the last three months, with shares moving higher from its low of $22.84 to its recent high of $41.30. During that uptrend, shares of THRM have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. This spike higher on Monday is starting to push shares of THRM within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if THRM manages to take out Monday's high of $40.20 to its 52-week high of $41.30 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in THRM as long as it's trending above some near-term support at $38 or above more support at $35.46 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that's near or above 582,157 shares. If that breakout materializes soon, then THRM will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $45 to $50.

Vistaprint

Vistaprint (VPRT) operates as an online provider of coordinated portfolios of marketing products and services to micro businesses worldwide. This stock closed up 3.6% at $40.64 in Monday's trading session.

Monday's Volume: 1.04 million
Three-Month Average Volume: 405,129
Volume % Change: 159%

From a technical perspective, VPRT spiked higher here above its recent low of $37.50 with above-average volume. This stock recently gapped down sharply from $53.87 to below $40 with monster downside volume. Following that move, shares of VPRT went on to make a new 52-week low of $37.50. That said, shares of VPRT are now starting to bounce off that recent low and it's quickly moving within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if VPRT manages to take out Monday's high of $41.24 to its gap-down-day high of $44.10 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in VPRT as long as it's trending above Monday's low of $38.63 or above its 52-week low of $37.50 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that this near or above 405,129 shares. If that breakout gets underway soon, then VPRT will set up to re-fill some of its previous gap-down-day zone that started at $53.87. Some possible upside targets if we get into that gap with volume are $48 to its 50-day moving average at $49.35.

Discovery Communications

Discovery Communications (DISCK - Get Report) operates as a media company worldwide. This stock closed up 1% at $71.51 in Monday's trading session.

Monday's Volume: 1.34 million
Three-Month Average Volume: 472,775
Volume % Change: 170%

From a technical perspective, DISCK trended modestly higher here right above some near-term support at $69.42 with above-average volume. This stock has been downtrending badly for the last month, with shares moving lower from its high of $79.44 to its low of $69.42. During that move, shares of DISCK have been consistently making lower highs and lower lows, which is bearish technical price action. That said, shares of DISCK have now started to bounce off that $69.42 low and it's starting to move within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if DISCK manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $72 to $73.34 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in DISCK as long as it's trending above Monday's low of $70.29 or above its recent low of $69.42 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that's near or above 472,775 shares. If that breakout starts soon, then DISCK will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at its 50-day moving average of $75.50 to its 200-day moving average of $76.01. If those levels get taken out with volume, then DISCK could even tag $79.50 to $81.

To see more stocks rising on unusual volume, check out the Stocks Rising on Unusual Volume portfolio on Stockpickr.

-- Written by Roberto Pedone in Delafield, Wis.

RELATED LINKS:

 

 

 

Follow Stockpickr on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.

At the time of publication, author had no positions in stocks mentioned. Roberto Pedone, based out of Delafield, Wis., is an independent trader who focuses on technical analysis for small- and large-cap stocks, options, futures, commodities and currencies. Roberto studied international business at the Milwaukee School of Engineering, and he spent a year overseas studying business in Lubeck, Germany. His work has appeared on financial outlets including CNBC.com and Forbes.com. You can follow Pedone on Twitter at www.twitter.com/zerosum24 or @zerosum24.