Stock Quotes in this Article: IMOS, PTRY, SLCA

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.

Major moves in volume can signal unusual activity, such as insider buying or selling -- or buying or selling by “superinvestors.”

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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 today.

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Chipmos Technologies Bermuda

Chipmos Technologies Bermuda (IMOS) provides a range of back-end testing services, including engineering testing, wafer probing and final testing of memory and mixed-signal semiconductors. This stock is trading up 7.5% at $11.20 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 410,000

Average Volume: 142,654

Volume % Change: 392%

From a technical perspective, IMOS is ripping higher here right above some near-term support at $9.93 and back above its 50-day moving average of $11.15 with heavy upside volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of IMOS within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if IMOS manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at its 200-day moving average of $11.68 and then once it clears more overhead resistance levels at $11.95 to $12.10 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in IMOS as long as it’s trending above today’s low of $10.25, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 142,654 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then IMOS will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $12.60 to $14.

Pantry

Pantry (PTRY) operates a convenience store chain in the southeastern U.S. It has operated 1,649 stores in 13 states under a number of selected banners including Kangaroo Express, its main operating banner. This stock is trading up 5.2% at $13.15 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 356,000

Average Volume: 123,846

Volume % Change: 329%

Shares of PTRY are moving higher today after Barron’s said over the weekend that its popular Kangaroo Express convenience stores have been attracting more shoppers, making it the largest convenience-store operator in the Southeast. Barron’s said the selloff in PTRY could be a buying opportunity for patient investors.

From a technical perspective, PTRY is gapping sharply higher here right above its 50-day moving average of $12.33 with heavy upside volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of PTRY within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if PTRY manages to clear some near-term overhead resistance levels at $13.25 to its 200-day moving average at $13.37 and then once it takes out more overhead resistance at $13.50 to $13.96 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in PTRY as long as it’s trending above today’s low of $12.80 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 123,846 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then PTRY will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $15 to $15.36. Any high-volume move above $15.36 to $15.37 will then put $16.36 into range for shares of PTRY.

U.S. Silica

U.S. Silica (SLCA) is a domestic producer of commercial silica, a specialized mineral that is a critical input into a variety of attractive end markets. This stock is trading up 3.8% at $22.54 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 2.71 million

Average Volume: 744,284

Volume % Change: 499%

From a technical perspective, SLCA is bouncing higher here right above some near-term support at $21.24 and above its 50-day moving average at $20.75 with monster upside volume. This bounce is coming after shares of SLCA recently sold off from its 52-week high of $28.50 to $21.24.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in SLCA as long as it’s trending above $21.24 with strong upside volume flows. I would consider any upside volume day that registers near or above its three-month average action of 744,284 shares as bullish. If SLCA can maintain that trend, then this stock will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $25 to $26.

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.