Stock Quotes in this Article: CGNX, JOBS, MZOR

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.

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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.

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With that in mind, let's take a look at several stocks rising on unusual volume recently.

51job

51job (JOBS) provides integrated human resource services in the People's Republic of China. This stock closed up 1% at $65.96 in Monday's trading session.

Monday's Volume: 231,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 86,259

Volume % Change: 181%

From a technical perspective, JOBS jumped modestly higher here right above its 50-day moving average of $64.11 with above-average volume. This stock has been uptrending a bit for the last month, with shares moving higher from its low of $59 to its recent high of $67.94. During that uptrend, shares of JOBS have been making mostly higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. This uptick higher on Monday is starting to push shares of JOBS within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if JOBS manages to take out Monday's intraday high of $66.10 and then once it clears more near-term overhead resistance at $67.94 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in JOBS as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $64.11 or above more near-term support at $62.53 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that this near or above 86,259 shares. If that breakout starts soon, then JOBS will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $70.85 to its 200-day moving average of $71.98, or even $73 to $74.

Cognex

Cognex (CGNX) provides machine vision products that capture and analyze visual information in order to automate tasks primarily in manufacturing processes. This stock closed up 1.8% at $38.40 in Monday's trading session.

Monday's Volume: 578,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 473,112

Volume % Change: 81%

From a technical perspective, CGNX bounced modestly higher here right above some near-term support at $37.27 with above-average volume. This stock has been uptrending for the last three months, with shares moving higher from its low of $30.67 to its recent high of $39.67. During that move, shares of CGNX have been making mostly higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. This spike higher on Monday is starting to push shares of CGNX within range of triggering a big breakout trade. That trade will hit if CGNX manages to take out some key near-term overhead resistance levels at $39.67 to its 52-week high at $40.14 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in CGNX as long as it's trending above some near-term support at $37.27 or above $36 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 473,112 shares. If that breakout gets underway soon, then CGNX 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.

Mazor Robotics

Mazor Robotics (MZOR) is engaged in the development, production, marketing and servicing of medical devices for supporting surgical procedures in the fields of orthopedics and neurosurgery in the U.S., Western Europe, Eastern Europe and Asia. This stock closed up 3.2% to $17.57 in Monday's trading session.

Monday's Volume: 200,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 79,223

Volume % Change: 141%

From a technical perspective, MZOR ripped notably higher here back above its 50-day moving average of $17.37 with above-average volume. This move is starting to push shares of MZOR within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if MZOR manages to take out Monday's intraday high of $17.85 to some more near-term overhead resistance at $18.14 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in MZOR as long as it's trending above Monday's intraday low of $16.61 or above more near-term support levels at $16.25 to $16.03 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 79,223 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then MZOR will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at its 200-day moving average of $19.76 to $20. Any high-volume move above those levels will then give MZOR a chance to tag its next major overhead resistance level at $22.43.

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

-- Written by Roberto Pedone in Delafield, Wis.


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

Roberto Pedone, based out of Delafield, 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.