Stock Quotes in this Article: DDD, FL, SPB, AWAY

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.”

>>5 Stocks Ready to Break Out

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.

>>5 Must-Own Dividend Stocks for 2013

HomeAway

HomeAway (AWAY), an online marketplace for the vacation rental industry, is trading up 3.4% at $33 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 1.27 million

Average Volume: 791,122

Volume % Change: 142%

From a technical perspective, AWAY is trending higher here and hitting a brand new 52-week high at $33.23 with heavy upside volume. This stock recently found buying interest off a near-term support level at $30, and then went on to break out above some near-term overhead resistance at $31.25 with strong volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in AWAY as long as it’s trending above today’s low of $32.15, and then once it sustains a move or close above its 52-week high of $33.23 with volume that hits near or above 791,122 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then AWAY will enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $35 to $37.

Spectrum Brands

Spectrum Brands (SPB) is a consumer products company with market positions in six product categories: consumer batteries, pet supplies, electric shaving and grooming, electric personal care, portable lighting and home and garden control products. This stock is trading up 1% at $54.91 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 625,000

Average Volume: 219,192

Volume % Change: 425%

From a technical perspective, SPB is bouncing higher here right above some near-term support at $54 with above-average volume. This stock recently found buying interest right off its 50-day moving average of $52.61 and it’s now quickly moving within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit if SPB manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $55.57 to $55.82 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in SPB as long as it’s trending above $54 to $53, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 219,192 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then SPB will set up to enter new 52-week high territory above $56.08, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $60 to $62.

3D Systems

3D Systems (DDD) manufactures and sells 3D content-to-print solutions and 3D printing systems. This stock is trading up 3.6% at $31.69 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 4.26 million

Average Volume: 5.12 million

Volume % Change: 77%

From a technical perspective, DDD is bouncing higher here right above its 200-day moving average of $29.53 with decent upside volume. This stock has been downtrending badly for the last two months, with shares falling from its high of $47.99 to its recent low of $27.88. During that move, shares of DDD have been mostly making lower highs and lower lows, which is bearish technical price action. That said, DDD has now started to bounce off its 200-day and it’s quickly moving within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if DDD manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $33 to $34.41 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in DDD as long as it’s trending above today’s low of $30.61 or above its 200-day at $29.53, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 5.12 million shares. If that breakout hits soon, then DDD will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $37.85 to its 50-day at $38.25. Any high-volume move above its 50-day will then give DDD a chance to run above $40.

Foot Locker

Foot Locker (FL) is a global retailer of athletically inspired shoes and apparel, operating 3,369 primarily mall-based stores in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. This stock is trading up 4.1% at $33.63 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 2.97 million

Average Volume: 2.47 million

Volume % Change: 102%

From a technical perspective, FL is trending higher here back above its 200-day moving average of $33.43 and right into its 50-day moving average at $33.77. This move is quickly pushing shares of FL within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if FL manages to take out its 50-day at $33.77 and then once it clears more overhead resistance at $34.25 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in FL as long as it’s trending above today’s low of $32.73, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 2.47 million shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then FL will set up to re-fill its previous gap down zone from earlier this month that started near $35.50. Any high-volume move above $35.90 to $36.24 will then put $37.26 into range for shares of FL.

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.

RELATED LINKS:

>>5 Huge Stocks to Trade for Gains
>>5 Stocks Insiders Love Right Now

>>5 Stocks Under $10 Triggering Breakouts

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 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.