Stock Quotes in this Article: FUEL, MNTX, VSI

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.

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

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Vitamin Shoppe

Vitamin Shoppe (VSI), through its subsidiaries, operates as a specialty retailer and direct marketer of nutritional products in the U.S. This stock closed up 6.7% at $11.84 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 724,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 469,098

Volume % Change: 65%

From a technical perspective, VSI jumped higher here right above some near-term support at $37.75 with above-average volume. This uptick higher on Wednesday is quickly pushing shares of VSI within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if VSI manages to take out some key near-term overhead resistance at $40.14 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in VSI as long as it's trending above Wednesday's intraday low of $38.41 or above more near-term support at $37.75 and then once it sustains a move or close above $40.14 with volume that's near or above 469,098 shares. If that breakout begins soon, then VSI will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at its 50-day moving average of $41.76 to $43.95.

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Rocket Fuel

Rocket Fuel (FUEL), a technology company, provides artificial-intelligence digital advertising solutions. This stock closed up 2.1% at $15.57 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 1.30 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 756,048

Volume % Change: 70%

From a technical perspective, FUEL trended modestly higher here right above some near-term support at $15 with above-average volume. This stock recently gapped down sharply lower from $26.84 to well below $20 with monster downside volume. Following that move, shares of FUEL continued to trend lower with the stock tagging a new low of $14.29. Shares of FUEL have now started to rebound off that $14.29 low and it flirted with a breakout on Wednesday above some near-term overhead resistance at $15.95. Market players should now look for a continuation move to the upside in the short-term if FUEL manages to clear Wednesday's intraday high of $16.08 to some more near-term overhead resistance at $17 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in FUEL as long as it's trending above $15 or above that recent low of $14.29 and then once it sustains a move or close above $16.08 to $17 with volume that's near or above 756,048 shares. If that move kicks off soon, then FUEL will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $18 to its gap-down-day high of $19.24. Any high-volume move above $19.24 will then give FUEL a chance to re-fill some of its previous gap-down-day zone that started at $26.84.

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Manitex International

Manitex International (MNTX) provides engineered lifting solutions. This stock closed up 5.7% at $12.88 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 282,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 104,432

Volume % Change: 149%

From a technical perspective, MNTX ripped sharply higher here right above some near-term support at $12 with above-average volume. This notable spike to the upside on Wednesday also pushed shares of MNTX into breakout territory, since the stock took out some near-term overhead resistance at $12.40. This move also pushed shares of MNTX into its recent gap-down-day zone that started at $14.78. Market players should now look for a continuation move to the upside in the short-term if MNTX manages to clear Wednesday's intraday high of $13.20 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in MNTX as long as it's trending above Wednesday's intraday low of $12.37 or above more near-term support at $12 and then once it sustains a move or close above $13.20 with volume that's near or above 104,432 shares. If that move materializes soon, then MNTX will set up to re-fill some of its previous gap-down-day zone that started at $14.78.

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.