Stock Quotes in this Article: HEES, MHO, TRIP, THRM

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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Gentherm

Gentherm (THRM) designs, develops, manufactures and markets proprietary technology electronic components and systems for sale to car and truck original equipment manufacturers. This stock closed up 3.7% at $16.69 on Wednesday.

Wednesday's Volume: 563,000

Average Volume: 165,733

Volume % Change: 206%

Shares of THRM ripped higher on Wednesday after the company reported in-line EPS, beat on revenues and guided fiscal 2013 revenues above Wall Street consensus.

From a technical perspective, THRM spiked higher here right above some near-term support at $15.50 with above-average volume. This stock has been uptrending strong for the last four mouths, with shares soaring higher from its low of $11.11 to its intraday high of $16.94. During that move, shares of THRM have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. This move has now pushed shares of THRM within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit once THRM manages to take out some past overhead resistance levels at $17.74 to $18.18 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in THRM as long as it’s trending above $16.18 or $15.50 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with high volume that hits near or above 165,733 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then THRM will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $20 to $23.

H&E Equipment Services

H&E Equipment Services (HEES) is an integrated equipment services company in the U.S. focused on heavy construction and industrial equipment. This stock closed up 4.3% to $19.93 on Wednesday.

Wednesday's Volume: 635,000

Average Volume: 215,865

Volume % Change: 173%

Shares of HEES ripped higher on Wednesday after the company said its fourth quarter net income spiked 36%, helped by a steep jump in equipment rental revenue. Revenue also jumped 15% to $250.1 million from $217 million.

From a technical perspective, HEES surged higher right above its 50-day moving average of $18.48 with above-average volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of HEES within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if HEES manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $20.80 to $21.18 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in HEES as long as it’s trending above its 50-day at $18.48 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 215,865 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then HEES will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory above $21.18, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $25 to $30.

TripAdvisor

Online travel companyTripAdvisor (TRIP) closed up 1.9% at $48.63 on Wednesday.

Wednesday's Volume: 4.82 million

Average Volume: 2.20 million

Volume % Change: 165%

Shares of TRIP moved modestly higher on Wednesday after a survey showed travel spending and accommodation profitability is expected to rise in 2013, especially in the U.S.

From a technical perspective, TRIP spiked higher here and briefly entered new 52-week-high territory with heavy upside volume. This stock has been uptrending strong for the last month, with shares soaring higher from its low of $42.20 to its intraday high of $50.88. During that move, shares of TRIP have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in TRIP as long as it’s trending above Wednesday’s low of $47.90 and then once it sustains a move or close above some key breakout levels at $49.35 to its 52-week high of $50.88 with volume that hits near or above 2.20 million shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then TRIP will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $55 to $60 in the near future.

M/I Homes

M/I Homes (MHO) sells and constructs single-family homes, attached townhomes and condominiums to first-time, move-up, empty-nester and luxury buyers. This stock closed up 3.9% at $24.84 on Wednesday.

Wednesday's Volume: 4.02 million

Average Volume: 457,785

Volume % Change: 818%

Shares of MHO trended higher on Wednesday after the company announced the pricing and upsizing to $75 million aggregate principle amount of its previously announced public offering of convertible senior subordinated notes due 2018. JMP Securities also upgraded the stock to outperform from market perform.

From a technical perspective, MHO spiked higher here and closed right below its 50-day moving average of $25.25 with heavy upside volume. This move pushed shares of MHO into breakout territory, since the stock took out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $23.51 to $23.95. Shares of MHO are now quickly moving within range of triggering another near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if MHO manages to take out its 50-day at $25.25 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in MHO as long as it’s trending above $23.95 or $23.51, and then once it sustains a move or close above its 50-day at $25.25 with volume that hits near or above 475,785 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then MHO will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $28 to $28.86.

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.