Stock Quotes in this Article: MTSC, VSH, AMBA

MADISON, 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.

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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Vishay Intertechnology

Vishay Intertechnology (VSH) is a global manufacturer and supplier of discrete semiconductors. This stock is trading up 3.5% to $13.00 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 2.08 million

Average Volume: 1.52 million

Volume % Change: 160%

From a technical perspective, VSH is trending higher here right below its 50-day moving average at $13.02 with above-average volume. This stock has been uptrending for the last few weeks, with shares moving higher from its low of $11.54 to its intraday high of $13.15. During that move, shares of VSH have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now pushed shares of VSH within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if VSH manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $12.92 to $13.01 and then once it takes out its intraday high of $13.15 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in VSH as long as it’s trending above $12.50, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 1.52 million shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then VSH will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $13.50 to its 52-week high at $13.98. Any high-volume move above $13.98 will then put $14 to $16 into range for shares of VSH.

Ambarella

Ambarella (AMBA) is a developer of semiconductor processing solutions for video that enable high-definition video capture, sharing and display. This stock is trading up 3.1% at $14.17 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 524,000

Average Volume: 361,768

Volume % Change: 114%

From a technical perspective, AMBA is bouncing higher here right above some near-term support at $13.50 with above-average volume. This move is starting to push shares of AMBA into breakout territory, since the stock has cleared some near-term overhead resistance levels at $13.68 to $14.08.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in AMBA as long as it’s trending above today’s low of $13.75 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 361,768 shares. If AMBA can maintain this move, then this stock will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $15 to $15.50, or possibly even $16. Any move above $16 would then push shares of AMBA into new 52-week high territory, which is bullish technical price action.

MTS Systems

MTS Systems (MTSC) is a supplier of test systems and industrial position sensors. This stock is trading up 2.1% to $59.70 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 164,000

Average Volume: 69,676

Volume % Change: 117%

From a technical perspective, MTSC is bouncing higher here right above some near-term support at $58 with above-average volume. This move has started to push shares of MTSC into breakout territory, since the stock has cleared some near-term overhead resistance levels at $58.99 to $59.43.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in MTSC as long as it’s trending above today’s low of $58.55 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 69,676 shares. If MTSC can maintain that trend, then this stock will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory above $59.76, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $63 to $65.

To see more stocks rising on unusual volume, check out the Stocks Rising On Unusual Volume portfolio on Stockpickr.

-- Written by Roberto Pedone in Madison, Wis.

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At the time of publication, author had no positions in stocks mentioned.

Roberto Pedone, based out of Madison, 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.