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."

Stocks with unusual volume are something that I tweet about on a daily basis. These are also the exact type of stocks that I love to trade and alert to my subscribers in real-time.

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.

E.W. Scripps

  • Monday's Volume: 1.07 million
  • Three-Month Average Volume: 470,342
  • Volume % Change: 149%

E.W. Scripps  (SSP - Get Report)  operates as a media enterprise with a portfolio of television, radio and digital media brands. This stock traded up 3.4% to $15.70 in Monday's trading session.

From a technical perspective, E.W. Scripps ripped sharply higher on Monday right off its 20-day moving average of $15.27 a share with strong upside volume flows. This high-volume spike to the upside is now quickly pushing shares of E.W. Scripps within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade above some key overhead resistance levels. That trade will trigger if this stock manages to take out Monday's intraday high of $15.78 a share and then once it clears more key resistance at $15.97 a share with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in E.W. Scripps as long as it's trending above Monday's intraday low of $15.10 a share and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 470,342 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then this stock will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at its 50-day moving average of $16.45 to $16.70, or even $17 to $18 a share.

Acadia Pharmaceuticals

  • Monday's Volume: 8.11 million
  • Three-Month Average Volume: 3.06 million
  • Volume % Change: 149%

Acadia Pharmaceuticals  (ACAD - Get Report)  focuses on the development and commercialization of small molecule drugs that address unmet medical needs in central nervous system disorders. This stock traded up 2.1% to $33 in Monday's trading session.

From a technical perspective, Acadia Pharmaceuticals spiked notably higher on Monday back above its 200-day moving average of $32.39 a share and back above its 20-day moving average of $32.80 a share with strong upside volume flows. This high-volume trend to the upside is now quickly pushing shares of Acadia Pharmaceuticals within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade above some key overhead resistance levels. That trade will trigger if this stock manages to take out Monday's intraday high of $34.25 a share and then once it clears more key resistance at $35.18 a share with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in Acadia Pharmaceuticals as long as it's trending above its 200-day moving average of $32.39 a share or above more key near-term support at $30.43 a share and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that registers near or above 3.06 million 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 $36.48 to $38, or even $39.50 a share.

Plexus

  • Monday's Volume: 349,000
  • Three-Month Average Volume: 144,359
  • Volume % Change: 157%

Plexus  (PLXS - Get Report)  provides electronic manufacturing services in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Asia-Pacific. This stock traded up 2.2% to $42.68 in Monday's trading session.

From a technical perspective, Plexus spiked notably higher on Monday right above some near-term support levels at $40.71 a share and its 20-day moving average of $40.07 a share with strong upside volume flows. This stock has been uptrending strong over the last four months, with shares moving higher off its new 52-week low of $28.72 a share to its recent high of $42.70 a share. During that uptrend, shares of Plexus have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. This trend higher on Monday 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 its 52-week high of $42.70 a share with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in Plexus as long as it's trending above some key near-term support levels at $40.71 a share to its 20-day moving average of $40.07 a share and then once it sustains a move or close above its 52-week high of $42.70 a share with volume that hits near or above 144,359 shares. If that breakout fires off 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 $45 to $50 a share.

Glaukos

  • Monday's Volume: 546,000
  • Three-Month Average Volume: 207,529
  • Volume % Change: 174%

Glaukos  (GKOS - Get Report) , an ophthalmic medical technology company, develops and commercializes products and procedures designed for the treatment of glaucoma. This stock traded up 4.9% to $19.78 in Monday's trading session.

From a technical perspective, Glaukos gapped up sharply higher on Monday and broke out above some near-term overhead resistance at $19.35 a share with strong upside volume flows. This stock has been uptrending strong over the last two months, with shares moving higher off its low of $15 a share to its intraday high on Monday of $19.99 a share. During that uptrend, shares of Glaukos have been making mostly higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. 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 $19.99 a share with strong upside volume flows.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in Glaukos as long as it's trending above Monday's intraday low of $19.29 a share or above more near-term support at $19 a share and then once it sustains a move or close above Monday's intraday high of $19.99 a share with volume that registers near or above 207,529 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 $22 to its 200-day moving average of $22.62, or even $24 to $24.50 a share.

GNC Holdings

  • Monday's Volume: 6.24 million
  • Three-Month Average Volume: 1.59 million
  • Volume % Change: 243%

GNC Holdings  (GNC - Get Report)  operates as a specialty retailer of health, wellness and performance products. This stock traded up 6.8% to $26.02 in Monday's trading session.

From a technical perspective, GNC Holdings ripped sharply higher on Monday right above its recent low of $24.15 a share with strong upside volume flows. This stock recently gapped-down sharply lower from $35.90 to its recent low of $24.15 a share with monster downside volume flows. Following that move, shares of GNC Holdings have now started to spike higher off that low of $24.15 a share, and it's quickly moving within range of triggering a big breakout trade. That trade will hit if this stock manages to take out Monday's intraday high of $26.15 a share to its gap-down-day high around $27 a share with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in GNC Holdings as long as it's trending above its recent low of $24.15 a share and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 1.59 million 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 at $35.90 a share.

Universal Forest Products

  • Monday's Volume: 394,000
  • Three-Month Average Volume: 149,272
  • Volume % Change: 75%

Universal Forest Products  (UFPI - Get Report)  designs, manufactures and markets wood and wood-alternative products for home centers and other retailers. This stock traded up 8% to $82.78 in Monday's trading session.

From a technical perspective, Universal Forest Products ripped sharply higher on Monday right above some near-term support at $76.11 a share and back above its 50-day moving average of $81.24 a share with strong upside volume flows. This high-volume rip to the upside is now quickly pushing shares of Universal Forest Products within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade above some key overhead resistance levels. That breakout will hit if this stock manages to take out its 20-day moving average of $83.39 a share and then once it clears some more key resistance at $84 a share with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in Universal Forest Products as long as it's trending above its 50-day moving average of $81.24 a share or above $80 a share and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 149,272 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 $86 to its 52-week high of $88.91 a share.

Cash America International

  • Monday's Volume: 660,000
  • Three-Month Average Volume: 261,720
  • Volume % Change: 155%

Cash America International  (CSH)  provides specialty financial services to individuals through storefront lending locations and franchised check cashing centers. This stock traded up 1.7% to $37.59 in Monday's trading session.

From a technical perspective, Cash America International spiked notably higher on Monday right off some near-term support at $36.60 a share with strong upside volume flows. This stock recently trended sharply lower off its new 52-week high of $44.76 a share to its low of $36.60 a share. Shares of Cash America International have now started to spike higher off that $36.60 low and back above its 50-day moving average of $37.47 a share with strong upside volume flows. 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 $37.86 a share with strong volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in Cash America International as long as it's trending above its recent low of $36.60 a share or above $35 a share and then once it sustains a move or close above Monday's intraday high of $37.86 a share with volume that hits near or above 261,720 shares. If that move gets started 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 $38.90 to around $41 a share.

BroadSoft

  • Monday's Volume: 1.46 million
  • Three-Month Average Volume: 385,565
  • Volume % Change: 251%

BroadSoft  (BSFT)  provides software and services that enable telecommunications service providers to deliver hosted, cloud-based unified communications to their enterprise customers in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Asia Pacific. This stock traded up 3.8% to $40.67 in Monday's trading session.

From a technical perspective, BroadSoft ripped higher on Monday right above its 200-day moving average of $34.56 a share and back above both its 50-day moving average of $38.01 a share and its 20-day moving average of $40.41 a share with strong upside volume flows. This high-volume rip to the upside is now quickly pushing shares of BroadSoft within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if this stock manages to take out Monday's intraday high of $41.26 a share and then once it clears more key resistance levels at $41.91 to $42.06 a share with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in BroadSoft as long as it's trending above $39 a share or above its 50-day moving average of $38.01 a share and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 385,565 shares. If that breakout kicks off 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 $45 to $50 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.