Stock Quotes in this Article: AXE, CIEN, CTCT, SGI

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.

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

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Constant Contact (CTCT)

This company is a provider of on-demand email marketing and online survey solutions for small organizations, including small businesses, associations and non-profits. This stock is trading up 5.6 % at $14.88 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 565,000

Average Volume: 553,702

Volume % Change: 159%

From a technical perspective, CTCT is bouncing higher here right above its 50-day moving average of $13.38 with above-average volume. This stock has been uptrending strongly for the last two months and change, with shares soaring from its low of $11.50 to its recent high of $15.28. During that move, shares of CTCT have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now pushed CTCT within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit if CTCT manages to clear some near-term overhead resistance levels at $14.87 to $15.28 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in CTCT as long as it’s trending above its 50-day at $13.38, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 553,702 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then CTCT will set up to re-fill some its previous gap down zone from last October that started above $17.

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Ciena (CIEN)

This company is a provider of equipment, software and service solutions that support the transport, switching, aggregation and management of voice, video and data traffic on communications networks. This stock is trading up 3.8% at $15.25 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 6.62 million

Average Volume: 3.60 million

Volume % Change: 218%

From a technical perspective, CIEN is ripping higher here back above both its 200-day at $14.72 and its 50-day at $15.05 with monster upside volume. This stock recently sold off from its high of $16.72 to its low of $14.37. Now shares are rebounding off that $14.37 low and clearing both of those key moving averages.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in CIEN as long as it’s trending above its 200-day moving average of $14.72 with strong upside volume flows. I would consider any upside volume day that registers near or above its three-month average action of 3.60 million shares as bullish. If CIEN can maintain that trend, then this stock has a great chance of re-testing its recent high of $16.72. Any move above $16.72 will then put $17.85 to $18.39 into range for shares of CIEN.

Anixter International (AXE)

This company distributes communications & electrical wire and cable products and fasteners and other small parts. Its products include data, video, & security products used to connect personal computers, peripheral equipment &, among others. This stock is trading up 2.8% at $66.86 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 378,000

Average Volume: 253,664

Volume % Change: 152%

From a technical perspective, AXE is bouncing to the upside here right off some near-term support at $64 with above-average volume. This stock has been uptrending strongly for the last two months and change, with shares soaring from its low of $54.11 to its recent high of $66.89. During that move, shares of AXE have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now pushed AXE within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if AXE clears some near-term overhead resistance at $66.89 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in AXE as long as it’s trending above some near-term support at $63.92, and then once it sustains a move or close above $66.89 with volume that hits near or above 253,664 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then AXE will set up to re-fill its previous gap down zone from last May that started above $68.

Silicon Graphics International (SGI)

This company provides hardware and software technology within large-scale x86 cluster computing, HPC, Internet, Cloud Computing, large-scale data storage environments and visualization platforms across many verticals & geographies. This stock is trading up 5.6% at $11.48 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 402,000

Average Volume: 228,585

Volume % Change: 180%

From a technical perspective, SGI is ripping higher here above some near-term support at $10 with above-average volume. This move has started to push shares of SGI into breakout territory, since the stock has taken out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $10.72 to $10.78.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in SGI as long as it’s trending above those breakout levels with strong upside volume flows. I would consider any upside volume day that registers near or above its three-month average action of 228,585 shares as bullish. If SGI can maintain that trend, then this stock will set up to re-fill some of its previous gap down zone from last February that started above $14.

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.