Stock Quotes in this Article: AG, LXU, RIO, SCCO

DELAFIELD, 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.

>>5 Stocks Setting Up to Break Out

Major moves in volume can signal unusual activity, such as insider buying or selling -- or buying or selling by "superinvestors."

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.

>>5 Stocks Under $10 Set to Soar

With that in mind, let's take a look at several stocks rising on unusual volume today.

Rio Tinto

Rio Tinto (RIO) is an international mining group that engaged on finding, mining and processing the Earth's mineral resources. This stock closed up 5% at $49.81 in Friday's trading session.

Friday's Volume: 9.24 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 3.65 million

Volume % Change: 169%

>>5 Stocks With Big Insider Buying

From a technical perspective, RIO ripped higher here back above its 200-day moving average of $48.56 with heavy upside volume. This move also pushed shares of RIO into breakout territory, since the stock took out some past overhead resistance levels at $48.82 to $49.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in RIO as long as it's trending above its 200-day at $48.56 or above Friday's low of $48.31 and then once it sustains a move or close above Friday's high of $50.35 with volume that hits near or above 3.65 million shares. If we get that move soon, then RIO will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $52.45 to $57.83.

LSB Industries

LSB Industries (LXU) manufactures and sells geothermal and water source heat pumps and air handling products and chemical products. This stock closed up 4.6% at $33.72 in Friday's trading session.

Friday's Volume: 543,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 147,784

Volume % Change: 252%

>>3 Stocks Under $10 in Breakout Territory

From a technical perspective, LXU ripped higher here right above some near-term support at $31.45 and back above its 50-day moving average of $32.51 with heavy upside volume. This stock also flirted with its 200-day moving average at $35.22, before closing just below that level at $33.72.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in LXU as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $32.51 and then once it sustains a move or close above its 200-day at $35.22 to Friday's high of $36 with volume that's near or above 147,784 shares. If we get that move soon, then LXU will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $40.37 to $42.79.

Southern Copper

Southern Copper (SCCO) produces copper, molybdenum, zinc and silver. This stock closed up 4.3% at $28.79 in Friday's trading session.

Friday's Volume: 3.76 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 1.89 million

Volume % Change: 180%

>>5 Surprise Stocks the Pros Love Right Now

From a technical perspective, SCCO soared higher here back above its 50-day moving average of $28.17 with strong upside volume flows. This stock has been downtrending badly for the last six months, with shares plunging lower from its high of $41.35 to its recent low of $25.75. During that downtrend, shares of SCCO have been consistently making lower highs and lower lows, which is bearish technical price action. That said, shares of SCCO have now started to rip off that $25.75 low and quickly move within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if SCCO manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance at $29.11 with high volume. If that breakout hits, then SCCO could be ready to reverse its downtrend and enter a new uptrend.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in SCCO as long as it's trending above Friday's low of $27.58 or above $27 and then once it sustains a move or close above $29.11 with volume that's near or above 1.89 million shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then SCCO will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $34 to $36.

First Majestic Silver

First Majestic Silver (AG) is engaged in production, development, exploration and acquisition of mineral properties with a focus on silver production in Mexico. This stock closed up 4.1% at $12.76 in Friday's trading session.

Friday's Volume: 1.61 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 1.22 million

Volume % Change: 65%

From a technical perspective, AG trended higher here right above its 50-day moving average of $11.50 and right above some near-term support at $11.35 with above-average volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of AG within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit if AG manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance at $13.50 to $13.97 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in AG as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $11.50 or above more support at $11.35 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that's near or above 1.22 million shares. If that breakout hits soon, then AG will set up to re-test or possibly take out its 200-day moving average at $16.02 to $17.21.

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

-- Written by Roberto Pedone in Delafield, Wis.

RELATED LINKS:

>>4 Stocks Under $10 Making Big Moves
>>5 Huge Stocks to Trade for Gains

>>5 Earnings Stocks Everyone Hates -- but You Should Love

Follow Stockpickr on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.

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

Roberto Pedone, based out of Delafield, 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.