DELAFIELD, Wis. (Stockpickr) -- Professional traders running mutual funds a.0nd 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.

Extended Stay America

Extended Stay America  (STAY - Get Report) develops, owns and operates hotels in the U.S. and Canada. This stock is trading up 4.6% to $21.26 in Monday's trading session.

Monday's Volume: 292,000
Three-Month Average Volume: 294,824
Volume Change: 223%

From a technical perspective, STAY is ripping higher here back above its 200-day moving average of $20.72 with decent upside volume flows. This spike to the upside on Monday has now pushed shares of STAY above its recent range highs at around $20.50. This move is now quickly pushing shares of STAY within range of triggering another big breakout trade. That trade will trigger if STAY manages to take out some key near-term overhead resistance at $21.22 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in STAY as long as it's trending above Monday's current intraday low of $20.27 or above its 50-day at $19.75 and then once it sustains a move or close above $21.22 with volume that registers near or above 294,824 shares. If that breakout begins soon, then STAY will set up to re-fill some of its previous gap-down-day zone from last November that started at $23.29. This stock could even tag $25 to $26 if that gap gets filled with volume.

TrueCar

TrueCar  (TRUE - Get Report) operates as an Internet-based information, technology and communication services company. This stock is trading up 4.2% to $16.28 in Monday's trading session.

Monday's Volume: 957,000
Three-Month Average Volume: 1.26 million
Volume % Change: 106%

From a technical perspective, TRUE is gapping higher here right above some near-term support levels at $15.59 to $15.51. This stock has been trending inside of a range for the last month, with shares moving between $15.51 on the downside and $16.95 on the upside. Shares of TRUE are now starting to spike higher and move within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade above the upper-end of its recent sideways trending chart pattern. That trade will trigger if TRUE manages to take out some key near-term overhead resistance levels at $16.95 to its 50-day moving average of $17.35 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in TRUE as long as it's trending above Monday's current intraday low of $16.04 or above its range low at $15.51 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that registers near or above 1.26 million shares. If that breakout begins soon, then TRUE will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $18.39 to $19.50 or even $20.

Covenant Transportation Group

Covenant Transportation Group  (CVTI - Get Report), together with its subsidiaries, offers truckload transportation and brokerage services in the continental U.S. This stock is trading up 3.8% to $34.43 in Monday's trading session.

Monday's Volume: 200,000
Three-Month Average Volume: 232,611
Volume % Change: 121%

From a technical perspective, CVTI is spiking sharply higher here right above its 50-day moving average of $32.66 with decent upside volume flows. This stock has been consolidating and trending sideways over the last two months, with shares moving between $30.17 on the downside and $36.82 on the upside. This trend to the upside on Monday is now starting to push shares of CVTI within range of triggering a big breakout trade above the upper-end of its recent sideways trending chart pattern. That trade will hit if CVTI manages to clear some key near-term overhead resistance levels at $35.85 to its 52-week high of $36.82 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in CVTI as long as it's trending above its 50-day moving average of $32.66 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 232,611 shares. If that breakout gets going soon, then CVTI will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory above $36.82, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that move are $40 to $45.

Old Dominion Freight Line

Old Dominion Freight Line  (ODFL - Get Report) operates as a less-than-truckload motor carrier in North America. This stock is trading up 1.2% to $75.24 in Monday's trading session.

Monday's Volume: 594,000
Three-Month Average Volume: 609,887
Volume % Change: 175%

From a technical perspective, ODFL is spiking modestly higher here right above some near-term support at $74 with decent upside volume flows. This stock has been uptrending over the last few weeks, with shares moving higher from its low of $71.31 to its recent high of $75.63. During that uptrend, shares of ODFL have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now pushed shares of ODFL within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade above some key overhead resistance levels. That trade will trigger if ODFL manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $75.63 to its 50-day moving average of $76.38 and then above more resistance levels at $77 to $78 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in ODFL as long as it's trending above some key near-term support at $74 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 609,887 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then ODFL will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $80 to its 52-week high of $8148.

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