Stock Quotes in this Article: FIO, SFLY, SCTY

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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Shutterfly

Shutterfly (SFLY) is an Internet-based social expression and personal publishing service that enables consumers to share, print and preserve their memories by leveraging its technology, manufacturing, Web-design and merchandising capabilities. This stock is trading up 3.3% at $49.10 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 2.82 million

Average Volume: 699,002

Volume % Change: 639%

Shares of SFLY are ripping higher here after the company announced the pricing of a $270 million convertible senior note offering.

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From a technical perspective, SFLY is trending higher here with heavy upside volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of SFLY within range of triggering a major breakout trade, which will hit if SFY manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance at $49 with high volume. At last check, SFLY has hit an intraday high of $49.52, and volume is well above its three-month average action of 699,002 shares.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in SFLY as long as it's trending above $48 and then once it sustains a move or close above $49 to $49.53 with volume that hits near or above 699,002 shares. If SFLY can maintain this move, then this stock will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $55 to $60.

Fusion-IO

Fusion-IO (FIO) is a provider of datacenter solutions that accelerate databases, virtualization, cloud computing, big data and the applications that help drive business from the smallest e-tailers to some of the largest data centers, social media leaders, and Fortune Global 500 businesses. This stock is trading up 3% at $15.60 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 4.73 million

Average Volume: 3.38 million

Volume % Change: 130%

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From a technical perspective, FIO is trending higher here with above-average volume. This stock recently gapped down sharply from over $18 to $13.13 with heavy downside volume. Since that gap, shares of FIO have started to rebound and trade into that gap down zone and are now quickly approaching a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if FIO manages to take out its 50-day moving average at $16.32 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in FIO as long as it's trending above $15, and then once it sustains a move or close above $16.32 with volume that hits near or above 3.38 million shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then FIO will set up to re-fill more of that previous gap down zone that started just above $18.

SolarCity

SolarCity (SCTY) is engaged in designing, sales, engineering, installation, monitoring, maintenance and financing of solar energy systems to residential and commercial customers, or sale of electricity generated by solar energy systems to customers. This stock is trading up 7.2% at $33.71 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 1.56 million

Average Volume: 867,990

Volume % Change: 187%

From a technical perspective, SCTY is ripping higher here right above some near-term support at $39 with above-average volume. This stock has been uptrending strong for the last few weeks, with shares soaring higher from $24 to its all-time high of $39. During that uptrend, shares of SCTY have been mostly making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. Shares of SCTY have recently pulled back from $39 to its low of $30, but it's now starting to rebound and move within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit if SCTY manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $37.50 to $39 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in SCTY as long as it's trending above today's low of $32.10 or above $33, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 867,990 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then SCTY will set up to enter new all-time high territory above $39, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that move are $43 to $45.

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.