Stock Quotes in this Article: CRAY, IGT, FLT, EPAM

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.

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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.

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

FleetCor Technologies (FLT)

This is an independent global provider of specialized payment products and services to businesses, commercial fleets, oil companies, petroleum marketers and government entities in countries throughout North America, Latin America and Europe. This stock is trading up 2.6% at $47.29 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 1.05 million

Average Volume: 407,105

Volume % Change: 384%

Shares of FLT are trending higher today after Citigroup upgraded the stock citing the company's strong third quarter results and forward prospects. The firm raised its price target to $56 from $49.

From a technical perspective, FLT is bouncing higher here right off some near-term support at $47 with above-average volume. This move has started to push FLT into breakout territory, since the stock has challenged some near-term overhead resistance at $47.97. At last check, FLT has hit an intraday high of $49.49 and volume is well above its three-month average action of 407,105 shares.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in FLT as long as it's trending above $47.97 with strong upside volume flows. I would consider any upside volume day that registers near or above 407,105 shares as bullish. If FLT can maintain that trend, then look for the stock to challenge and possible take out today's high of $49.49. Some possible upside targets if $49.49 gets taken out with volume are $53 to $55.

EPAM Systems <(EPAM)

This company is a service provider focused on complex software product development services, software engineering and vertically-oriented custom development solutions. This stock is trading up 6.4% at $18.93 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 390,000

Average Volume: 187,568

Volume % Change: 309%

Shares of EPAM are ripping higher today after the company reported third quarter revenues of $110 million up 6% sequentially, and 27% year-over-year. The firm also raised its full year revenue and adjusted its earnings growth guidance.

From a technical perspective, EPAM is gapping sharply higher here back above its 50-day at $18.39 and above some near-term overhead resistance at $18.67 with above-average volume. This move is quickly pushing EPAM within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit once EPAM manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance at $19.50 to $19.63 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in EPAM as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $18.39, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 187,568 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then EPAM will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next significant overhead resistance levels at $22.10 to $23.61.

Cray (CRAY)

This company designs, develops, manufactures, markets and services computing systems, commonly known as supercomputers. Its products comprise Cray XE6 system, a massively parallel processing system. This stock is trading up 11.4% at $13.38 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 588,000

Average Volume: 216,835

Volume % Change: 273%

Shares of CRAY are soaring higher today after the company reported third quarter EPS of -$0.14 and revenue of $35.7 million which beat by 2 cents and $5.7 million respectively. The company also proposed to acquire rival Appro in a $25 million cash deal.

From a technical perspective, CRAY is ripping higher here right through its 50-day moving average of $12.39 with above-average volume. This move has also started to push CRAY into breakout territory, since the stock has pushed above some near-term overhead resistance levels at $12.64 to $12.97. Shares of CRAY are now quickly approaching another major breakout trade. That trade will hit once CRAY takes out some more near-term overhead resistance levels at $13.51 to $13.56 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in CRAY as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $12.39, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 216,835 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then CRAY will enter new 52-week high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $15 to $18.

International Game Technology (IGT)

This company is a global gaming company engaged in the design, manufacture, and marketing of electronic gaming equipment and systems products. This stock is trading up 3.98% at $13.49 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 9.52 million

Average Volume: 3.77 million

Volume % Change: 257%

Shares of IGT are trending up today after the company reported fiscal fourth quarter results and a profit prediction for the new year that were both better than expected.

From a technical perspective, IGT is gapping up sharply higher here right through its 50-day moving average of $12.83 with above-average volume. This move is quickly pushing IGT within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit once IGT manages to clear some near-term overhead resistance levels at $13.43 to $13.56, and then once it takes out its 200-day at $14.22 with high volume. At last check, IGT has hit an intraday high of $13.85 and volume is well above its three-month average action.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in IGT as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $12.83 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 3.77 million shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then IGT will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $15.67 to $16. Any high-volume move above $16 would then pout $16.50 to $17.50 into focus for IGT.

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.