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.

PCM

  • Monday's Volume: 393,000
  • Three-Month Average Volume: 92,105
  • Volume % Change: 298%

PCM  (PCMI - Get Report)  operates as a multi-vendor provider of technology products and solutions and consumer products primarily in the U.S. and Canada. This stock closed up 3.8% to $18.47 in Monday's trading session.

From a technical perspective, PCM spiked notably higher on Monday back above its 20-day moving average of $17.91 a share with strong upside volume flows. This stock has been uptrending over the last month and change, with shares moving higher off its low of around $11 a share to its recent high of $19.62 a share. During that uptrend, shares of PCM have been making mostly higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. This bump to the upside is now quickly pushing shares of PCM within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will trigger if this stock manages to clear Monday's intraday high of $18.56 a share and then above its 52-week high of $19.62 a share with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in PCM as long as it's trending above its 20-day moving average of $17.91 a share or above Monday's intraday low of $16.87 a share and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 92,105 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 move are $23 to $25 a share.

Federal Agricultural Mortgage

  • Monday's Volume: 161,000
  • Three-Month Average Volume: 58,963
  • Volume % Change: 155%

Federal Agricultural Mortgage  (AGM - Get Report)  provides a secondary market for various loans made to borrowers primarily in the U.S. This stock closed up 2% to $41.05 in Monday's trading session.

From a technical perspective, Federal Agricultural Mortgage spiked notably higher on Monday right above its 20-day moving average of $39.54 a share with strong upside volume flows. This high-volume bump to the upside managed to push shares of Federal Agricultural Mortgage into breakout territory, since the stock closed above some near-term overhead resistance at $40.74 a share. This move is now quickly pushing this stock within range of triggering another near-term breakout trade. That trade will trigger if this stock manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $41.41 to $42 a share with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in Federal Agricultural Mortgage as long as it's trending above Monday's intraday low of $40.47 a share or above its 20-day moving average of $39.54 a share and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 58,963 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 $45.15 to its 52-week high of $45.48 a share.

Alon USA Partners

  • Monday's Volume: 548,000
  • Three-Month Average Volume: 189,969
  • Volume % Change: 203%

Alon USA Partners  (ALDW)  refines and markets petroleum products in the U.S. This stock closed up 8% to $12.16 in Monday's trading session.

From a technical perspective, Alon USA Partners ripped sharply higher on Monday with strong upside volume flows. This stock has been uptrending strong over the last month or so, with shares moving higher off its low of $8.37 a share to its intraday high on Monday of $12.44 a share. During that uptrend, shares of Alon USA Partners 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 shares of Alon USA Partners manage to clear Monday's intraday high of $12.44 a share with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in Alon USA Partners as long as it's trending above Monday's intraday low of $11.08 a share or above some more near-term support at $10.50 a share and then once it sustains a move or close above Monday's intraday high of $12.44 a share with volume that hits near or above 189,969 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 $12.97 to its 200-day moving average of $13.76, or even $14.77 a share.

Providence Service

  • Monday's Volume: 417,000
  • Three-Month Average Volume: 77,084
  • Volume % Change: 437%

Providence Service  (PRSC - Get Report)  provides critical health care and workforce development services in the U.S. and internationally. This stock closed up 8.4% to $47.58 in Monday's trading session.

From a technical perspective, Providence Service ripped sharply higher on Monday back above both its 50-day moving average of $46.49 a share and its 200-day moving average of $47.46 a share with strong upside volume flows. This high-volume rip to the upside is now quickly pushing shares of Providence Service 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 $48.66 a share and then above more near-term resistance at $50.30 a share with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in Providence Service as long as it's trending above its 50-day moving average of $46.49 a share or its 20-day moving average of $45.27 a share and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that registers near or above 77,084 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 $53.38 to $55.28, or even its 52-week high at $56.92 a share.

Sohu.com

  • Monday's Volume: 828,000
  • Three-Month Average Volume: 209,388
  • Volume % Change: 321%

Sohu.com  (SOHU - Get Report)  provides online media, search, and game services on personal computers, mobile devices and tablets in the People's Republic of China. This stock closed up 4.3% to $41.98 in Monday's trading session.

From a technical perspective, Sohu.com ripped sharply higher on Monday and broke out above some near-term overhead resistance levels at $40.87 to $41.96 a share with strong upside volume flows. Market players should now look for a continuation move to the upside in the short-term if shares of Sohu.com manage to take out Monday's intraday high of $42.40 a share with strong upside volume flows.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in Sohu.com as long as it's trending above Monday's intraday low of $40.20 a share or above its 20-day moving average of $38.87 a share and then once it sustains a move or close above Monday's intraday high of $42.40 a share with volume that hits near or above 209,388 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 $44 to its 200-day moving average of $45.32, or even $47 to $48 a share.

LGI Homes

  • Monday's Volume: 1.18 million
  • Three-Month Average Volume: 470,302
  • Volume % Change: 131%

LGI Homes  (LGIH - Get Report)  engages in the design, construction, marketing and sale of new homes in Texas, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, New Mexico, South Carolina, North Carolina, Colorado, Washington and Tennessee markets. This stock closed up 5.7% to $37.51 in Monday's trading session.

From a technical perspective, LGI Homes ripped sharply higher on Monday right above its 20-day moving average of $34.45 a share with strong upside volume flows. This high-volume rip to the upside also pushed this stock into breakout and new 52-week high territory, after the stock cleared some near-term overhead resistance levels at $35.95 to $36.44 a share. 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 $37.68 a share with strong volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in LGI Homes as long as it's trending above Monday's intraday low of $35.55 a share or above its 20-day moving average of $34.45 a share and then once it sustains a move or close above Monday's intraday high of $37.68 a share with volume that hits near or above 470,302 shares. If that move gets underway 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 move are $40 to $45 a share.

Enviva Partners

  • Monday's Volume: 268,000
  • Three-Month Average Volume: 124,762
  • Volume % Change: 137%

Enviva Partners  (EVA - Get Report)  produces and supplies utility-grade wood pellets to power generators. This stock closed up 3.6% to $25.33 in Monday's trading session.

From a technical perspective, Enviva Partners spiked notably higher on Monday right above its 20-day moving average of $23.83 a share with strong upside volume flows. This high-volume jump to the upside also managed to push shares of Enviva Partners into breakout and new all-time high territory, after the stock closed above some key overhead resistance at $24.64 to $25 a share. 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 $25.60 a share with strong upside volume flows.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in Enviva Partners as long as it's trending above Monday's intraday low of $24.50 a share or above its 20-day moving average of $23.83 a share then once it sustains a move or close above Monday's intraday high of $24.60 a share with volume that hits near or above 124,762 shares. If that move gets started soon, then this stock will set up to enter new all-time-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that move are $30 to $33 a share.

Icahn Enterprises

  • Monday's Volume: 658,000
  • Three-Month Average Volume: 127,105
  • Volume % Change: 459%

Icahn Enterprises  (IEP - Get Report)  operates in investment, automotive, energy, metals, railcar, gaming, mining, food packaging, real estate and home fashion businesses in the U.S., Germany and Internationally. This stock closed up 5.6% to $50.71 in Monday's trading session.

From a technical perspective, Icahn Enterprises spiked sharply higher on Monday right above some near-term support at $47.08 a share with strong upside volume flows. This stock has been downtrending over the last month, with shares falling sharply off its high of $60.50 a share to its recent low of $47.08 a share. During that move, shares of Icahn Enterprises have been consistently making lower highs and lower lows, which is bearish technical price action. That said, this stock has now started to potentially reverse that downtrend off the $47.08 low, and it's quickly trending 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 $51 to $51.44 a share with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in Icahn Enterprises as long as it's trending above Monday's intraday low of $48.44 a share or above that recent low of $47.08 a share and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that registers near or above 127,105 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 its 50-day moving average of $52.99 a share to its 20-day moving average of $54.06, or even its 200-day moving average of $55.66 a share to around $57 a share.

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