Stock Quotes in this Article: NTAP, PHI, WDAY

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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Philippine Long Distance Telephone

Philippine Long Distance Telephone (PHI) provides telecommunication services, including wireless services, fixed-line services and business process outsourcing services. This stock is trading up 1% at $70.17 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 241,000

Average Volume: 138,058

Volume % Change: 225%

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From a technical perspective, PHI is bouncing modestly higher here right above its 50-day moving average of $69.27 with above-average volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of PHI within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if PHI manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $71 to its double-top zone at $71.98 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in PHI as long as it’s trending above its 50-day at $69.27, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 138,058 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then PHI will set up to re-test or possibly take out its 52-week high at $74.08.

Workday

Workday (WDAY) is a provider of enterprise cloud-based applications for human capital management, payroll, financial management, time tracking, procurement and employee expense management. This stock is trading up 1.4% at $60.94 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 1.12 million

Average Volume: 835,951

Volume % Change: 179%

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From a technical perspective, WDAY is trending higher here right above its 50-day moving average of $57.91 with above-average volume. This move has started to push shares of WDAY into breakout territory, since the stock has taken out some near-term overhead resistance at $60.06. This move is quickly pushing shares of WDAY within range of triggering another near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if WDAY manages to take out some more resistance levels at $63.30 to $63.52 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in WDAY as long as it’s trending above that first tier breakout level at $60.06 and then once it sustains a move or close above $63.30 to $63.52 with volume that hits near or above 835,951 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then WDAY will set up to re-test or possibly take out its 52-week high at $65.

NetApp

NetApp (NTAP) is a supplier of enterprise storage and data management software and hardware products and services. This stock is trading up 2.1% to $34.19 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 5.11 million

Average Volume: 5.80 million

Volume % Change: 50%

From a technical perspective, NTAP is bouncing higher here right above some near-term support at $33.11 with strong upside volume flows. This move is quickly pushing shares of NTAP within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if NTAP manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at its 50-day moving average at $34.57 and then above more resistance at $34.95 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in NTAP as long as it’s trending above some key near-term support at $33.11 or above its 200-day at $32.70 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 5.80 million shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then NTAP will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $36.61 to $37.02.

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.