Stock Quotes in this Article: E, SNP

MADISON, 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.”

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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 today.

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China Petroleum & Chemical

China Petroleum & Chemical (SNP) is a petroleum and petrochemical company that explores for, develops, produces and markets crude oil and natural gas in a number of areas across China. This stock is trading up 1% at $109.60 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 212,000

Average Volume: 81,203

Volume % Change: 396%

From a technical perspective, SNP is bouncing modestly higher here right off some near-term support at $108 with above-average volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of SNP within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if SNP manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance at $109.64 to $111 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in SNP as long as it’s trending above today’s low of $108.43 or above $108 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 81,203 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then SNP will set up to re-fill some of its recent gap down zone that started just above $114.

Eni SpA

Eni SpA (E), together with its subsidiaries, offers integrated energy services. This stock is trading up 1.6% at $47.62 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 1.02 million

Average Volume: 680,822

Volume % Change: 196%

From a technical perspective, E is trending higher here right above its 50-day moving average at $46.30 with above-average volume. This stock has been moving sideways for the last month and change, with shares moving between $48.11 on the upside and $44.76 on the downside. This move today is quickly pushing shares of E within range of breaking out above the upper-end of its recent sideways trading chart pattern. That breakout will hit if E manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $47.62 to $47.77 and then once it clears more resistance at $48.11 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in E as long as it’s trending above its 50-day at $46.30 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 680,822 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then E will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $52 to $52.27.

To see more stocks rising on unusual volume, check out the Stocks Rising On Unusual Volume portfolio on Stockpickr.

-- Written by Roberto Pedone in Madison, Wis.

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At the time of publication, author had no positions in stocks mentioned.

Roberto Pedone, based out of Madison, Wis., is an independent trader who focuses on technical analysis for small- and large-cap stocks, options, futures, commodities and currencies. Roberto studied international business at the Milwaukee School of Engineering, and he spent a year overseas studying business in Lubeck, Germany. His work has appeared on financial outlets including CNBC.com and Forbes.com. You can follow Pedone on Twitter at www.twitter.com/zerosum24 or @zerosum24.