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.

South State

South State (SSB - Get Report) operates as a bank holding company for South State Bank that provides retail and commercial banking services, mortgage lending services, trust and investment services, and consumer finance loans. This stock closed up 1.4% at $57.77 in Monday's trading session.

Monday's Volume: 184,000
Three-Month Average Volume: 62,357
Volume % Change: 197%

From a technical perspective, SSB jumped notably higher here right above some near-term support at $56 with above-average volume. This modest move to the upside on Monday is starting to push shares of SSB within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if SSB manage to take out some key near-term overhead resistance levels at $58.50 to its 200-day moving average of $59.54 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in SSB as long as it's trending above some near-term support at $56 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 62,357 shares. If that breakout starts soon, then SSB will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels $62 to $64.37.

Nationstar Mortgage

Nationstar Mortgage (NSM provides residential mortgage loan services in the U.S. This stock closed up 3.4% at $34.71 in Monday's trading session.

Monday's Volume: 939,000
Three-Month Average Volume: 411,663
Volume % Change: 135%

From a technical perspective, NSM ripped notably higher here right above its 50-day moving average of $33.10 and it broke out above some near-term overhead resistance at $34.27 with above-average volume. This stock recently formed a double bottom chart pattern at $29.35 to $29.64. Following that bottom, shares of NSM have started to uptrend and push back above both it 50-day and 200-day moving averages. This spike to the upside on Monday is quickly pushing shares of NSM within range of triggering another near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if NSM manages to take out some key near-term overhead resistance levels at $34.83 to $35.59 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in NSM as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $33.10 or its 200-day at $32.37 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that's near or above 411,663 shares. If that breakout materializes soon, then NSM will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $37.86 to $37.95, or even some past resistance levels at $42.50 to $43.51.

ProAssurance

ProAssurance (PRA - Get Report) , through its subsidiaries, provides property and casualty insurance, and reinsurance products in the U.S. This stock closed up 2.9% at $45.16 in Monday's trading session.

Monday's Volume: 464,000
Three-Month Average Volume: 190,066
Volume % Change: 132%

From a technical perspective, PRA jumped notably higher here right above some near-term support at $43.43 and back above both its 200-day moving average at $44.53 and its 50-day moving average of $44.97 with above-average volume. This spike to the upside on Monday is quickly pushing shares of PRA within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if PRA manages to take out some key near-term overhead resistance levels at $45.23 to $45.75 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in PRA as long as it's trending above its 200-day at $44.53 or above more key near-term support at $43.43 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 190,066 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then PRA will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $46.42 to $47.28 or even its 52-week high of $49.53.

-- 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.