Stock Quotes in this Article: AEIS, NANO, TDS

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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Telephone and Data Systems

Telephone and Data Systems (TDS) is a diversified telecommunications service company with wireless operations. This stock is trading up 4.9% at $23.48 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 854,000

Average Volume: 600,316

Volume % Change: 101%

From a technical perspective, TDS is spiking significantly higher here right above some near-term support at $21.68 with above-average volume. This move has started to push shares of TDS back above both its 50-day at $22.76 and its 200-day at $23.17. Shares of TDS are now quickly moving within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit if TDS manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $23.69 to $23.73 and then once it clears more resistance at $24 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in TDs as long as it’s trending above its 50-day at $22.76, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 600,316 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then TDS will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance level at $26.99.

Nanometrics

Nanometrics (NANO) supplies advanced process control metrology systems used mainly in the manufacturing of semiconductors, solar photovoltaics and high-brightness LEDs as well as by customers in the silicon wafer and data storage industries. This stock is trading up 3.1% at $15.58 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 178,000

Average Volume: 104,215

Volume % Change: 164%

From a technical perspective, NANO is ripping higher here right above its 200-day moving average of $14.95 with above-average volume. This stock has been uptrending strongly for the last two months, with shares soaring from $13.51 to its intraday high of $15.82. During that move, shares of NANO have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now pushed NANO into breakout territory, since the stock has flirted with some near-term overhead resistance levels at $15.73 to $15.80.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in NANO as long as it’s trending above its 50-day at $14.58, and then once it sustains a move or close above some key breakout levels at $15.80 to $15.91 with volume that hits near or above 104,215 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then NANO will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $16.50 to $17.50. Any move above $17.50 will then give NANO a chance to re-fill some of its previous gap down zone from last April that started at $19.

Advanced Energy Industries

Advanced Energy Industries (AEIS) designs, manufactures, sells and supports industrial power conversion products that transform power into various usable forms. This stock is trading up 3.9% at $14.49 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 346,000

Average Volume: 185,407

Volume % Change: 153%

From a technical perspective, AEIS is ripping higher here right above some near-term support at $13.50 with above-average volume. This stock has been uptrending strongly for the last two months, with shares soaring from its low of $11.19 to its intraday high of $14.56. During that move, shares of AEIS have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has started to push AIES into breakout territory, since the stock has started to flirt with some key overhead resistance levels at $14.47 to $14.53.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in AEIS as long as it’s trending above $13.50 or its 50-day at $13.06, and then once it sustains a move or close above $14.47 to $14.56 with volume that hits near or above 185,407 shares. If AEIS can maintain that trend, then this stock will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $15.07 to $15.56. Any high-volume move above those levels will then put $17 into focus for shares of AEIS.

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.