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.

Matrix Service

Matrix Service (MTRX) provides engineering, fabrication, infrastructure, construction and maintenance services primarily to the oil, gas, power, petrochemical, industrial and mining and minerals markets principally in the U.S. and Canada. This stock closed up 18.4% at $33.57 in Friday's trading session.

Friday's Volume: 699,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 228,040

Volume % Change: 321%

From a technical perspective, MTRX gapped up sharply higher here back above its 50-day moving average of $32.70 with heavy upside volume. This move is starting to push shares of MTRX within range of triggering a big breakout trade. That trade will hit if MTRX manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $34.05 to its 52-week high at $35.34 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in MTRX as long as it's trending above Friday's low of $30.76 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that this near or above 228,040 shares. If that breakout materializes soon, then MTRX will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $40 to $45.

William Lyon Homes

William Lyon Homes (WLH), together with its subsidiaries, designs, constructs and sells single family detached and attached homes in California, Arizona, Nevada and Colorado. This stock closed up 4.9% at $28.47 in Friday's trading session.

Friday's Volume: 332,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 235,154

Volume % Change: 56%

From a technical perspective, WLH ripped higher here right above some near-term support at $26.10 with above-average volume. This move pushed shares of WLH into breakout territory, since shares took out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $27.86 to its 50-day moving average of $27.99. Market players should now look for a continuation move higher in the short-term if WLH manages to take out Friday's high of $28.48 to some more near-term overhead resistance levels at $29.74 to $30.25 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in WLH as long as it's trending above Friday's low $26.29 or above more support at $26.10 and then once it sustains a move or close above those resistance levels with volume that hits near or above 235,154 shares. If that move kicks off soon, then WLH will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $31.77 to its all-time high of $34.98.

Monster Beverage

Monster Beverage (MNST), through its subsidiaries, develops, markets, sells and distributes alternative beverage category beverages in the U.S. and internationally. This stock closed up 1.3% at $66.99 in Friday's trading session.

Friday's Volume: 3.32 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 1.45 million

Volume % Change: 144%

From a technical perspective, MNST jumped modestly higher here right off its 200-day moving average of $63.30 with above-average volume. This spike higher on Friday is starting to push shares of MNST within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if MNST manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $68.14 to its 50-day moving average of $68.55 and then once it clears more near-term resistance at $69.08 with strong volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in MNST as long as it's trending above Friday's low of $63 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that's near or above 1.45 million shares. If that breakout gets underway soon, then MNST will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $71.51 to $74. Any high-volume move above $74 will then give MNST a chance to re-test or possibly take out its 52-week high at $75.63.

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.