Stock Quotes in this Article: AFFY, GHDX, MTRX

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.

>>Trade 5 Hated Names to Beat the Market

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.

>>5 Trades to Take After the "Obama Crash"

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

Matrix Service (MTRX)

This company provides construction and repair and maintenance services mainly to the energy and energy related industries. This stock is trading up 7.8% at $10.88 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 271,000

Average Volume: 118,163

Volume % Change: 232%

From a technical perspective, MTRX is surging higher here right off some near-term support at $10.05 and back above its 50-day at $10.79 with above-average volume. This move is quickly pushing MTRX within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit once MTRX manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $11.21 to $11.38, and then once it clears $11.67 to $12 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in MTRX as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $10.79, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 118,163 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then MTRX will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels $14.05 to $15.06. The key to testing those levels will be once MTRX takes out $12 with volume, so be watching for that move to trigger soon.

Genomic Health (GHDX)

This company is engaged in the development and commercialization of genomic-based clinical laboratory services that analyze the underlying biology of cancer, allowing physicians and patients to make individualized treatment decisions. This stock is trading up 5.2% at $27.80 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 468,000

Average Volume: 215,905

Volume % Change: 221%

From a technical perspective, GHDX is bouncing sharply higher here off some near-term support at $25.25 with above-average volume. This bounce is coming after shares of GHDX recently gapped down big from $32 to $25.25 with heavy volume. That gap down has pushed GHDX into modestly oversold territory, since its current relative strength index (RSI) reading is 33.15.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in GHDX once it manages to break out above its gap down day high near $29 with high volume. Look for a sustained move or close above $29 with volume that hits near or above 215,905 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then look for GHDX to re-fill some of that gap back towards $31 to $32 in the near future. On the flipside, I would look for short-biased trades if GHDX fails to trigger that breakout, and then drops below $25.25 with heavy volume.

Affymax (AFFY)

This is a biopharmaceutical company committed to developing novel drugs to improve the treatment of serious and often life-threatening conditions. This stock is trading up 8.5% at $23.17 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 1.47 million

Average Volume: 875,894

Volume % Change: 143%

From a technical perspective, AFFY is ripping dramatically higher here right off some near-term support at $20.82 and back above its 50-day moving average of $22.17 with monster volume. This move is quickly pushing AFFY within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit once AFFY manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance at $24 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in AFFY as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $22.17, and then once it sustains a move or close above $24 with volume that hits near or above 875,894 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then AFFY will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $26.14 to $27.74. Any high-volume move above $27.74 should be considered bullish technical price action, since that will mean AFFY has entered new 52-week high territory.

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.

RELATED LINKS:

>>3 Volume Surges on Obama Re-Election

>>5 Earnings Short-Squeeze Plays to Trade

>>5 Toxic Stocks to Sell in November

Follow Stockpickr on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.

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.