Stock Quotes in this Article: MDT, PGTI, REXR

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 today.

PGT

PGT (PGTI) engages in the manufacture and supply of residential impact-resistant windows and doors. This stock closed up 6.3% to $10.88 in Friday's trading session.

Friday's Volume: 1.51 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 551,829

Volume % Change: 173%

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From a technical perspective, PGTI ripped higher here right above its 50-day moving average of $9.91 with above-average volume. This move pushed shares of PGTI into breakout territory, since the stock took out some near-term overhead resistance at $10.75. Shares of PGTI are now quickly moving within range of triggering another big breakout trade. That trade will hit if PGTI manages to take out some key overhead resistance levels at $11 to its 52-week high at $11.69 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in PGTI as long as it's trending above Friday's low of $10.24 or above its 50-day at $9.91 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 551,829 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then PGTI will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $13 to $15.

Rexford Industrial Realty

Rexford Industrial Realty (REXR) is a real estate investment trust that specializes in acquiring, owning and operating industrial properties in Southern California infill markets. This stock closed up 3.9% to $13.33 in Friday's trading session.

Friday's Volume: 370,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 117,694

Volume % Change: 184%

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From a technical perspective, REXR jumped higher here right above some near-term support at $12.80 with above-average volume. This move briefly pushed shares of REXR back above its 50-day moving average of $13.37. Shares of REXR closed just below its 50-day at $13.33. This move is quickly pushing shares of REXR within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit if REXR manages to take out some key overhead resistance levels at $13.52 to $13.86 and then once it clears more resistance at $13.97 to $14.04 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in REXR as long as it's trending above near-term support at $12.80 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 117,694 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then REXR will set up to re-test or possibly take out its all-time-high at $14.60. Any high-volume move above that level will then give REXR a chance to trend well north of $15.

Medtronic

Medtronic (MDT) manufactures and sells device-based medical therapies worldwide. This stock closed up 1.9% to $58.34 in Friday's trading session.

Friday's Volume: 12.57 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 3.97 million

Volume % Change: 220%

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From a technical perspective, MDT gapped up sharply here right off its 50-day moving average of $57.18 with strong upside volume. This move pushed shares of MDT into breakout territory, since the stock took out some near-term overhead resistance at $57.92. Shares of MDT are now quickly moving within range of triggering another big breakout trade. That trade will hit if MDT manages to clear some more near-term overhead resistance levels at $58.56 to its 52-week-high at $58.85 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in MDT as long as it's trending above Friday's low of $53.01 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 3.97 million shares. If that breakout hits soon, then MDT will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that move are $65 to $67.

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.