Stock Quotes in this Article: BGFV, TWC, NVDQ, FMI

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.

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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 recently.

Big 5 Sporting Goods

Big 5 Sporting Goods (BGFV), together with its subsidiaries, operates as a sporting goods retailer in the western U.S. This stock is trading up 6.7% at $19.20 in Tuesday's trading session.

Tuesday's Volume: 338,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 235,005

Volume % Change: 193%

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From a technical perspective, BGFV is spiking sharply higher here back above both its 50-day moving average of $18.49 and its 200-day moving average of $18.55 with above-average volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of BGFV within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit if BGFV manages to take out some key overhead resistance levels at $20.25 to its gap-down day high from last July at $21.38 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in BGFV as long as it's trending above its 200-day at $18.55 or above Tuesday's intraday low of $17.69 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 235,005 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then BGFV will set up to re-fill some of its previous gap-down-day zone that started just above $24.

Time Warner Cable

Time Warner Cable (TWC), together with its subsidiaries, offers video, high-speed data and voice services to residential and business service customers over its broadband cable systems in the U.S. This stock is trading up 2.7% to $136.06 in Tuesday's trading session.

Tuesday's Volume: 5.56 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 2.52 million

Volume % Change: 358%

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From a technical perspective, TWC is gapping notably higher here with strong upside volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of TWC within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit if TWC manages to take out its 52-week high at $139.85 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in TWC as long as it's trending above some near-term support at $132.50 or at $130 and then once it sustains a move or close above $139.85 with volume that hits near or above 2.52 million shares. If that breakout hits soon, then TWC will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $150 to $155, or even $160.

Novadaq Technologies

Novadaq (NVDQ) develops, manufactures and commercializes fluorescence imaging products and therapeutic devices for surgeons in the operating room and other clinical settings primarily in the U.S., Japan and internationally. This stock is trading up 6.1% to $17.89 in Tuesday's trading session.

Tuesday's Volume: 745,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 220,476

Volume % Change: 696%

From a technical perspective, NVDQ is ripping sharply higher here and breaking out above some near-term overhead resistance levels at $17.36 to $17.60 with strong upside volume flows. This move is quickly pushing shares of NVDQ within range of triggering another big breakout trade. That trade will hit if NVDQ manages to take out its all-time high at $18.77 a share with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in NVDQ as long as it's trending above its 50-day moving average of $16.52 and then once it sustains a move or close above $18.77 with volume that hits near or above 220,476 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then NVDQ will set up to enter new all-time-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $23 to $25.

Foundation Medicine

Foundation Medicine (FMI) provides various molecular information products in the U.S. This stock is trading up 9.2% at $29.35 in Tuesday's trading session.

Tuesday's Volume: 615,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 268,198

Volume % Change: 309%

From a technical perspective, FMI is soaring higher here and breakout out above some past overhead resistance at $27.55 with strong upside volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of FMI within range of triggering another major breakout trade. That trade will hit if FMI manages to take out some key past overhead resistance levels at $30.39 to $32.84 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in FMI as long as it's trending above that first tier breakout level of $27.55 or above Tuesday's low of $27.02 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that's near or above 268,198 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then FMI will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $35.93 to $38.

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.


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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.