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.

HFF

HFF (HF) provides commercial real estate and capital market services to users and providers of capital in the commercial real estate industry in the U.S. This stock closed up 2.9% to $33.26 in Monday's trading session.

Monday's Volume: 408,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 183,538

Volume % Change: 130%

From a technical perspective, HF jumped higher here back above its 50-day moving average of $32.66 with above-average volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of HF within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if HF manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at Monday's intraday high of $33.78 to $34.03 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in HF as long as it's trending above some near-term support at $32 or at $31 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 183,538 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then HF will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $35.13 to its 52-week high at $36.06.

Spansion

Spansion (CODE) designs, manufactures, develops and sells embedded systems semiconductors worldwide. This stock closed up 3.9% to $19.80 in Monday's trading session.

Monday's Volume: 2.04 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 793,520

Volume % Change: 142%

From a technical perspective, CODE ripped higher here and broke out into new 52-week-high territory with strong upside volume flows. This stock has been uptrending strong for the last six months, with shares moving higher from its low of $12.13 to its intraday high of $19.84. During that uptrend, shares of CODE have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. Market players should now look for a continuation move higher in the short-term if CODE manages to take out Monday's intraday high of $19.94 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in CODE as long as it's trending above $19 or above $18.50 and then once it sustains a move or close above $19.94 with volume that hits near or above 793,520 shares. If that move materializes soon, then CODE will set up to enter new 52-time-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that move are $23 to $25.

Conns

Conns (CONN) operates as a specialty retailer of durable consumer goods and related services in Texas, Arizona, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and New Mexico, the U.S. This stock closed up 6.9% at $49.87 in Monday's trading session.

Monday's Volume: 2.85 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 1.25 million

Volume % Change: 134%

From a technical perspective, CONN gapped up sharply higher here right above some near-term support at $45 with strong upside volume. This move pushed shares of CONN into breakout territory and into its previous gap-down-day zone, since this stock took out some key overhead resistance at $48.37. Market players should now look for a continuation move to the upside if CONN manages to take out Monday's intraday high of $51.50 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in CONN as long as it's trending above Monday's low of $47.80 and then once it sustains a move or close above $51.50 with volume that hits near or above 1.25 million shares. If that move starts soon, then CONN will set up to re-fill some of its previous gap-down-day zone from February that started at $58.34.

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.