Stock Quotes in this Article: FGP, XTXI, YPF

WINDERMERE, Fla. (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 today.

Crosstex Energy (XTXI)

This company is engaged in the gathering, transmission, treating, processing and marketing of natural gas and natural gas liquids (NGLs) through its subsidiaries. This stock is trading up 3.9% at $13 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 322,000

Average Volume: 189,784

Volume % Change: 186%

From a technical perspective, XTXI is gapping up sharply here right above some near-term support at $12.16 with above-average volume. This move is quickly pushing XTXI within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit once XTXI manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $13.24 to its 200-day at $13.40 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in XTXI as long as it's trending above $12.16, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 189,784 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then XTXI will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels $14.04 to $14.63. Any move above those levels will then put $15.60 to $15.87 into focus for shares of XTXI.

Ferrellgas Partners (FGP)

This company is a distributor of propane and related equipment and supplies to customers mainly in the United States. This stock is trading up 2.6% at $18.11 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 285,000

Average Volume: 223,676

Volume % Change: 82%

Shares of FGP are moving modestly higher today after the company said its adjusted earnings jumped 93% from last year's first quarter to $31.6 million, and gross profit rose 9% to $140.1 million.

From a technical perspective, FGP is bouncing higher here right off its 50-day moving average of $17.69 with above-average volume. This stock has been uptrending strongly for the last month, with shares soaring from a low of $14.80 to its recent high of $18.58. During that uptrend, shares of FGP have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now pushed FGP within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit once FGP manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $18.58 to $19.21 and then once it clears more resistance levels at $19.44 to $19.75 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in FGP as long as it's trending above $17.42, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 223,676 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then FGP will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance level at $20.75.

YPF Sociedad Anonima (YPF)

This is an integrated oil & gas company. It upstream operation consists of exploration, development & production of crude oil, natural gas & LPG. Its downstream operation includes refining, marketing & distribution of oil, among others. This stock is trading up 5% at $12.60 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 941,000

Average Volume: 614,786

Volume % Change: 164%

From a technical perspective, YPF is ripping higher here right above its 50-day moving average of $11.36 with above-average volume. This stock has been uptrending strong for the last month, with shares moving from a low of $9.21 to today's intraday high of $12.74. During that move, shares of YPF have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now pushed YPF within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit once YPF takes out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $12.53 to $13.65 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in YPF as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $11.36, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 614,786 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then YPF will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $14.38 to $16.32.

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

-- Written by Roberto Pedone in Winderemere, Fla.

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

Roberto Pedone, based out of Windermere, Fla., 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.