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.

Yum! Brands

  • Monday's Volume: 3.25 million
  • Three-Month Average Volume: 4.96 million
  • Volume % Change: 62%


Yum! Brands
  (YUM - Get Report) , together with its subsidiaries, operates quick service restaurants. This stock is trading up 1% to $71.02 in Monday's trading session.

From a technical perspective, Yum! Brands is trending modestly higher here right off some near-term support at $70 with decent upside volume flows. This stock recently gapped down sharply lower from over $83 a share to under $67.50 with heavy downside volume. Following that move, shares of Yum! Brands have now started to rebound off its $66.35 low and it's breaking out into its previous gap-down-day zone. Market players should now look for a continuation move to the upside in the short-term if this stock manages to take out Monday's intraday high of $71.68 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in Yum! Brands as long as it's trending above some near-term support at $70 and then once it sustains a move or close above Monday's intraday high of $71.68 with volume that hits near or above 4.96 million shares. If that move gets underway soon, then this stock will set up re-fill some more of its previous gap-down-day zone that started around $83 a share.


Momo

  • Monday's Volume: 377,000
  • Three-Month Average Volume: 631,469
  • Volume % Change: 100%

Momo  (MOMO - Get Report) operates as a mobile-based social networking platform in the People's Republic of China. This stock is trading up 6.3% to $13.42 in Monday's trading session.

From a technical perspective Momo is ripping sharply higher here back above both its 200-day moving average of $12.96 and its 50-day moving average of $13.08 with decent upside volume flows. This sharp spike to the upside on Monday is now quickly pushing this stock within range of triggering a major breakout trade above some key near-term overhead resistance levels. That trade will hit if this stock manages to take out some key near-term overhead resistance levels at $13.50 to $13.65 a share with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in Momo as long as it's trending above some near-term support at $12.50 or above its 20-day moving average of $12.09 a share and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that registers near or above 631,469 shares. If that breakout develops soon, then this stock will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $15 to $16, or even $17 to $18 a share.


Natural Health Trends

  • Monday's Volume: 199,000
  • Three-Month Average Volume: 345,463
  • Volume % Change: 50%

Natural Health Trends  (NHTC - Get Report) , a direct-selling and e-commerce company, provides wellness, beauty and lifestyle products for consumers or business builders under the NHT Global brand name. This stock is trading up 8.6% to $38.63 in Monday's trading session.

From a technical perspective, Natural Health Trends is ripping sharply higher here right above some near-term support at $34 with decent upside volume flows. This stock has been uptrending over the last two months, with shares moving higher off its low of $20 to its intraday high on Monday of $38.70 a share. During that uptrend, shares of Natural Health Trends have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now pushed this stock within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will trigger if this stock manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance at $39.04 a share with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in Natural Health Trends h as long as it's trending above some near-term support at $34 and then once it sustains a move or close above $39.04 with volume that registers near or above 345,463 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then this stock will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $43.81 to $44.69 a share.

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