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.

Xilinx

Xilinx  (XLNX - Get Report) designs and develops programmable devices and associated technologies worldwide. This stock is trading up 1.8% at $43.11 in Monday's trading session.

Monday's Volume: 7.26 million
Three-Month Average Volume: 3.78 million
Volume % Change: 222%

From a technical perspective, XLNX is spiking modestly higher here right above its 50-day moving average of $40.65 with strong upside volume flows. This spike to the upside on Monday has also pushed shares of XLNX into breakout territory, since the stock has taken out some key near-term overhead resistance levels at its 200-day moving average of $42.50 to more resistance at $42.76. This move is now quickly pushing shares of XLNX within range of triggering another near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if XLNX manages to take out Monday's intraday high of $43.19 to some more key overhead resistance at $44.21 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in XLNX as long as it's trending above Monday's intraday low of 440.99 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 3.78 million shares. If that breakout hits soon, then XLNX will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $46.94 to $48.50.

Intrexon

Intrexon  (XON - Get Report), a biotechnology company, operates in the synthetic biology field in the U.S. This stock is trading up 8.1% at $46.85 in Monday's trading session.

Monday's Volume: 2.77 million
Three-Month Average Volume: 1.47 million
Volume % Change: 402%

From a technical perspective, XON is gapping up sharply higher here with strong upside volume flows. This big spike to the upside on Monday is now quickly pushing shares of XON within range of triggering a major breakout trade above some key near-term overhead resistance levels. That trade will hit if XON manages to take out some key overhead resistance levels at $49.18 to its all-time high of $50.98 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in XON as long as it's trending above Monday's intraday low of $45.07 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 1.47 million shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then XON will set up to enter new all-time-high territory above $50.98, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that move are $55 to $60.

Harris

Harris  (HRS), together with its subsidiaries, operates as an international communications and information technology company worldwide. This stock is trading up 0.9% at $77.44 in Monday's trading session.

Monday's Volume: 1.11 million
Three-Month Average Volume: 1.02 million
Volume % Change: 145%

From a technical perspective, HRS is spiking modestly higher here with decent upside volume flows. This stock has been uptrending strong for the last few weeks, with shares ripping higher from its low of $69.84 to its intraday high of $78.21. During that uptrend, shares of HRS have been making mostly higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That spike has now pushed shares of HRS back above both its 50-day and 200-day moving averages, and it's quickly pushing this stock within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if HRS manages to take out some key near-term overhead resistance levels at $78.42 to its 52-week high of $79.32 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in HRS as long as it's trending above Monday's intraday low of $76.67 or above $74 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 1.02 million shares. If that breakout hits soon, then HRS will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory above $79.32, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that move are $85 to $90.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.