Stock Quotes in this Article: FSLR, INVN, SFUN

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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First Solar

First Solar (FSLR) designs, manufactures and sells solar electric power modules using a proprietary thin film semiconductor technology. This stock is trading up 5.8% at $32.16 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 4.60 million

Average Volume: 4.19 million

Volume % Change: 58%

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From a technical perspective, FSLR is ripping higher here right off its 50-day moving average of $30.62 with above-average volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of FSLR within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if FSLR manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $31.99 to $32.65 with high volume. At last check, FSLR has hit an intraday high of $32.47 and volume is above its three-month average action of 4.19 million shares.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in FSLR as long as it’s trending above its 50-day at $30.62, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 4.19 million shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then FSLR will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance level at $35.60.

SouFun Holdings

SouFun Holdings (SFUN) operates a real estate Internet portal in China, as well as a home furnishing and improvement Web site. This stock is trading up 4.9% at $27.43 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 363,000

Average Volume: 313,948

Volume % Change: 93%

Shares of SFUN are spiking higher today after the company reported adjusted net income of 79 cents per share, topping Wall Street analyst estimates of 62 cents per share, while revenue of $147.7 million beat the forecast for $138.29 million.

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From a technical perspective, SFUN is trending up here right above its 50-day moving average of $25.39 with above-average volume. This move is starting to push shares of SFUN outside of its recent consolidation pattern and within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit if SFUN manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $28.50 to $29.16 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in SFUN as long as it’s trending above its 50-day at $25.39 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 313,948 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then SFUN will set up to enter new 52-week- and all-time-high territory above $29.16, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $32 to $35 in the near future.

InvenSense

InvenSense (INVN) provides intelligent motion processing solutions that enable a motion-based user interface for consumer electronics. This stock is trading up 3.2% to $14.85 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 1.80 million

Average Volume: 1.35 million

Volume % Change: 78%

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From a technical perspective, INVN is ripping higher here right above some near-term support at $13.95 with above-average volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of INVN within range of breaking out to the upside of its recent consolidation chart pattern. That breakout will hit if INVN manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $15.04 to $15.26 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in INVN as long as it’s trending above some key near-term support at $13.95, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 1.35 million shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then INVN will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance level at $18.46.

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.