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.

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.

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

Choice Hotels International

Choice Hotels International (CHH - Get Report) , together with its subsidiaries, operates as a hotel franchisor worldwide. This stock closed up 1.6% to $52.02 in Friday's trading session.

Friday's Volume: 509,000
Three-Month Average Volume: 142,698
Volume % Change: 370%

From a technical perspective, CHH bounced modestly higher here right above its 50-day moving average of $50.98 with heavy upside volume flows. This move to the upside on Friday is quickly pushing shares of CHH within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit if CHH manages to take out some key near-term overhead resistance levels at $52.90 to $53 and then above its 52-week high of $54.83 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in CHH as long as it's trending above some key near-term support at $50.14 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 142,698 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then CHH will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $60 to $65.

Qualys

Qualys (QLYS - Get Report) provides cloud security and compliance solutions to enterprises, government entities and small and medium-sized businesses in the U.S. and internationally. This stock closed up 3.2% at $28.38 in Friday's trading session.

Friday's Volume: 434,000
Three-Month Average Volume: 181,091
Volume % Change: 120%

From a technical perspective, QLYS spiked notably higher here and broke out above some near-term overhead resistance at $28.16 with above-average volume. This move to the upside on Friday is now quickly pushing hares of QLYS within range of triggering a much bigger breakout trade. That trade will hit if QLYS manages to clear Friday's intraday high of $29.02 to its all-time high of $29.94 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in QLYS as long as it's trending above some key near-term support at $26 or above its 200-day at $24.93 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that's near or above 181,091 shares. If that breakout materializes soon, then QLYS will set up to enter new all-time-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $35 to $40.

Carter's

Carter's (CRI - Get Report) and its subsidiaries design, source and market branded children's wear under the Carter's Child of Mine, Just One You, Precious Firsts, OshKosh and other brands. This stock closed up 2.7% at $83.01 in Friday's trading session.

Friday's Volume: 2.43 million
Three-Month Average Volume: 718,588
Volume % Change: 267%

From a technical perspective, CRI jumped notably higher here right above its 50-day moving average of $79.90 with strong upside volume flows. This stock has been uptrending for the last few weeks, with shares moving higher from its low of $76.58 to its intraday high of $83.15. During that uptrend, shares of CRI have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now pushed shares of CRI within range of triggering a big breakout trade. That trade will hit if CRI manages to take out Friday's intraday high of $83.15 to its 52-week high of $84.19 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in CRI as long as it's trending above Friday's intraday low of $80.79 or above its 50-day at $79.90 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that's near or above 718,588 shares. If that breakout materializes soon, then CRI will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $90 to $95, or even $100.

Coupons.com

Coupons.com (COUP - Get Report) provides digital coupons in the U.S. It offers online printable, social, mobile and loyalty card promotion. This stock closed up 8.1% at $13.30 in Friday's trading session.

Friday's Volume: 916,000
Three-Month Average Volume: 471,673
Volume % Change: 95%

From a technical perspective, COUP ripped sharply higher here right above some near-term support at $11.67 with above-average volume. This stock recently formed a double bottom chart pattern at $11.61 to $11.67. Following that bottom, shares of COUP have started to spike sharply higher right above those double bottom support levels and it broke out above some near-term overhead resistance at $12.49. That move is now quickly pushing shares of COUP within range of triggering another big breakout trade. That trade will hit if COUP manages to clear Friday's intraday high of $13.42 to some more near-term overhead resistance at $13.81 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in COUP as long as it's trending above Friday's intraday low of $12.12 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 471,673 shares. If that breakout develops soon, then COUP will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at its 50-day moving average of $15.06 to $16.50. Any high-volume move above those levels will then give COUP a chance to tag $19.

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.

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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.