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.

Trex

  • Monday's Volume: 906,000
  • Three-Month Average Volume: 341,420
  • Volume % Change: 142%
Trex  ( TREX)  manufactures and distributes wood/plastic composite products and related accessories primarily for the residential and commercial decking, and railing applications in the U.S. This stock traded up 4.7% to $36.30 in Monday's trading session.

From a technical perspective, Trex spiked notably higher on Monday right off its 20-day moving average of $35.08 and back above its 50-day moving average of $35.97 with strong upside volume flows. This strong spike to the upside pushed this stock into breakout territory, since the stock took out some near-term overhead resistance at $35.84 a share. Shares of Trex are now quickly moving within range of triggering another big breakout trade. That trade will trigger if this stock manages to clear Monday's intraday high of $36.35 a share and then once it takes out more key resistance levels at $37.08 to $37.67 a share with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in Trex as long as it's trending above Monday's intraday low of $34.83 a share and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 341,420 shares. If that breakout kicks off soon, then this stock will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $39 to $39.31, or even $41.26 to its 200-day moving average of $41.56 a share.

Spark Energy

  • Monday's Volume: 173,000
  • Three-Month Average Volume: 61,556
  • Volume % Change: 173%

Spark Energy  (SPKE) , through its subsidiaries, operates as an independent retail energy services company in the U.S. This stock traded up 3.4% to $26.31 in Monday's trading session.

From a technical perspective, Spark Energy jumped notably higher on Monday right off its 20-day moving average of $25.49 a share with above-average volume. This stock has been uptrending very strong over the last six months, with shares soaring higher from its low of $14.54 to its recent high of $27.62 a share. During that uptrend, shares of Spark Energy have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. This high-volume jump to the upside on Monday is now quickly pushing 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 levels at $26.61 to its 52-week high of $27.62 a share with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in Spark Energy as long as it's trending above its 20-day moving average of $25.49 or above more near-term support at $24.37 a share and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that registers near or above 61,556 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then this stock will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $30 to $35 a share.

Weyerhaeuser

  • Monday's Volume: 14.40 million
  • Three-Month Average Volume: 5.32 million
  • Volume % Change: 184%

Weyerhaeuser  (WY)  is a real estate investment trust. It primarily invests in U.S. This stock traded up 3.1% to $23.58 in Monday's trading session.

From a technical perspective, Weyerhaeuser trended notably higher here right above some near-term support at $22.66 a share with monster upside volume flows. This high-volume jump to the upside on Monday is now starting to push shares of Weyerhaeuser within range of triggering a big breakout trade above some key near-term overhead resistance levels. That trade will trigger if this stock manages to take out Monday's intraday high of $23.67 a share and then once it clears more key resistance levels at its 20-day moving average of $24.13 to $24.44 a share with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in Weyerhaeuser as long as it's trending above Monday's intraday low of $23.11 or above more near-term support at $22.66 a share and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 5.32 million shares. If that breakout takes hold soon, then this stock will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $25.75 to $26.03, or even its 50-day moving average of $26.96 a share.

Marcus & Millichap

  • Monday's Volume: 556,000
  • Three-Month Average Volume: 150,793
  • Volume % Change: 220%

Marcus & Millichap  (MMI) , a brokerage company, provides investment brokerage and financing services to sellers and buyers of various types and sizes of commercial real estate assets in the U.S. and Canada. This stock traded up 5.4% to $20.95 in Monday's trading session.

From a technical perspective, Marcus & Millichap ripped sharply higher on Monday with heavy upside volume flows. This high-volume move higher here is now quickly pushing shares of Marcus & Millichap within range of triggering a big breakout trade above some key near-term overhead resistance levels. That trade will hit if this stock manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at its 20-day moving average of $21.47 to $22.50 a share with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in Marcus & Millichap as long as it's trending above Monday's intraday low of $20.12 a share and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that registers near or above 150,793 shares. If that breakout fires off soon, then this stock will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $24.34 to $24.65, or even its 50-day moving average of $25.25 a share.



Liberty Ventures

  • Monday's Volume: 2.56 million
  • Three-Month Average Volume: 711,430
  • Volume % Change: 234%

Liberty Ventures  (LVNTA) , through its subsidiaries, engages in the e-commerce business. This stock traded up 2% to $36.01 in Monday's trading session.

From a technical perspective, Liberty Ventures jumped notably higher on Monday right above some near-term support at $34.80 a share with strong upside volume flows. This stock has been uptrending over the last few weeks, with shares moving higher off its low of $32.35 to its recent high of $37.18 a share. During that uptrend, shares of Liberty Ventures have been making mostly higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. This high-volume move to the upside on Monday is now quickly pushing this stock within range of triggering a big breakout trade. That trade will trigger if this stock manages to take out its 20-day moving average of $36.47 a share to some more key resistance at $37.18 a share with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in Liberty Ventures as long as it's trending above some key near-term support at $34.80 a share and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 711,430 shares. If that breakout materializes soon, then this stock will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $38.50 to its 50-day moving average of $40.01, or even its 200-day moving average of $41.09 a share.

Alliance Fiber Optic Products

  • Monday's Volume: 395,000
  • Three-Month Average Volume: 182,466
  • Volume % Change: 106%

Alliance Fiber Optic Products  (AFOP)  designs, manufactures and markets various fiber optic components and integrated modules for communications equipment manufacturers and service providers in North America, Europe and Asia. This stock traded up 4.1% to $12.53 in Monday's trading session.

From a technical perspective, Alliance Fiber Optic Products ripped sharply higher on Monday right above its new 52-week low of $11.95 a share with strong upside volume flows. This stock recently gapped-down sharply lower from close to $15 a share to that low of $11.95 a share with heavy downside volume flows. Shares of Alliance Fiber Optic Products are now starting to rebound higher off that $11.95 low, and it's now quickly moving within range of triggering a big breakout trade above some key near-term overhead resistance levels. That trade will trigger if this stock manages to take out Monday's intraday high of $12.69 a share and then once it clears its recent gap-down-day high of $13.35 a share with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in Alliance Fiber Optic Products as long as it's trending above its new 52-week low of $11.95 a share and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 182,466 shares. If that breakout develops soon, then this stock will set up to re-fill some of its previous gap-down-day zone that started near $15 a share.

China Lodging Group

  • Monday's Volume: 585,000
  • Three-Month Average Volume: 182,341
  • Volume % Change: 219%

China Lodging Group  (HTHT)  is engaged in the business of operating and managing a multi-brand hotel group. This stock traded up 4% to $28.40 in Monday's trading session.

From a technical perspective, China Lodging Group spiked sharply higher on Monday right above its 20-day moving average of $27.12 a share and back above its 50-day moving average of $28.32 a share with strong upside volume flows. This high-volume spike to the upside is now quickly pushing shares of China Lodging Group within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if this stock manages to take out some key near-term overhead resistance at around $30 a share with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in China Lodging Group as long as it's trending above its 20-day moving average of $27.12 a share or above its 200-day moving average of $26.18 a share and then once it sustains a move or close above $30 a share with volume that hits near or above 182,341 shares. If that breakout gets going soon, then this stock will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $31 to its 52-week high of $33 a share.

American Railcar Industries

  • Monday's Volume: 443,000
  • Three-Month Average Volume: 180,574
  • Volume % Change: 141%

American Railcar Industries  (ARII)  designs and manufactures hopper and tank railcars in North America. This stock traded up 1.7% to $39.62 in Monday's trading session.

From a technical perspective, American Railcar Industries trended modestly higher on Monday right above some near-term support at $37.56 a share with above-average volume. This stock recently formed a double bottom chart pattern, after shares found some buying interest at $37 to $37.56 a share. Following that potential bottom, shares of American Railcar Industries have now started to right higher with volume. Market players should now look for a continuation move to the upside in the short-term if this stock manages to clear Monday's intraday high of $39.92 a share to some more near-term resistance near $40.50 a share with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in American Railcar Industries as long as it's trending above those recent double bottom support levels and then once it sustains a move or close above $39.92 to around $40.50 a share with volume that hits near or above 180,574 shares. If that move gets underway soon, then this stock will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at its 20-day moving average of $42.61 to $43, or even its 50-day moving average of $441.8 to its 200-day moving average of $45.95 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.