Stock Quotes in this Article: MAKO, NTWK, VHC, MFRM

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 With Major Insider Buying

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 Hated Stocks Poised to Pop on Earnings

VirnetX

VirnetX (VHC) develops software and technology solutions for securing real-time communications over the Internet. It currently own 20 patents in the U.S. and 26 foreign patents. This stock is trading up 5% at $35.68 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 2.14 million

Average Volume: 762,310

Volume % Change: 320%

Shares of VHC are trending up today after its $368 million jury verdict for patent infringement against Apple (AAPL) was upheld.

From a technical perspective, VHC is gapping up sharply higher here right off its 50-day moving average of $33.65 with heavy upside volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of VHC within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit if VHC manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $36.44 to $36.60 and then once it clears more resistance at $37.65 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in VHC as long as it’s trending above its 50-day at $33.65 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 762,310 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then VHC will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance level at $41.93.

Mattress Firm

Mattress Firm (MFRM) is a specialty retailer of mattresses and related products and accessories in the U.S. This stock is trading up 4.7% at $27.70 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 506,000

Average Volume: 329,202

Volume % Change: 232%

Shares of MFRM are moving higher today after industry data showed improved shipments in January.

From a technical perspective, MFRM is bouncing strongly to the upside here right off its 50-day moving average of $26.47 with above-average volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of MFRM within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if MFRM manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at its 200-day moving average of $29.27 and then above more resistance at $29.80 to $30.48 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in MFRM as long as it’s trending above its 50-day at $26.47 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 329,202 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then MFRM will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $33.04 to $33.36.

Mako Surgical

Mako Surgical (MAKO) is a medical device company that markets its advanced robotic arm solution and orthopedic implants for orthopedic procedures. This stock is trading up 8.4% to $11.93 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 3.25 million

Average Volume: 1.17 million

Volume % Change: 286%

Shares of Mako are skyrocketing today after William Blair said it’s convinced that the company’s 2013 procedure guidance is solid and is mainly in line with expectations. The firm still thinks that Mako has developed the best robotically assisted orthopedic system available and views the stock valuation as reasonable at current levels.

From a technical perspective, MAKO is spiking higher here back above its 50-day moving average of $11.80 with heavy upside volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of MAKO within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit if MAKO manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $12.54 to $13.28 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in MAKO as long as it’s trending above its 50-day at $11.80, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 1.17 million shares. If that breakout hits soon, then MAKO will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $14.30 to $14.98. Any high-volume move above those levels will then put $16.28 to $16.90 into range for shares of MAKO.

NetSol Technologies

NetSol Technologies (NTWK) designs, develops, markets and exports proprietary software products to customers in the automobile finance and leasing, banking, healthcare, and financial services industries worldwide. This stock is trading up 4.6% at $11.29 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 312,000

Average Volume: 136,337

Volume % Change: 183%

From a technical perspective, NTWK is ripping higher here right off some near-term support at $10.50 with heavy upside volume. This stock has been uptrending strong for the last two months, with shares soaring higher from its low of $5.70 to its recent high of $11.89. During that uptrend, shares of NTWK have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now pushed shares of NTWK within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if NTWK manages to take out its 52-week high of $11.89 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in NTWK as long as it’s trending above $10.50, and then once it sustains a move or close above its 52-week high at $11.89 with volume that hits near or above 136,337 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then NTWK will set up to re-fill some of its previous gap down zone from last July that started near $16.

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:







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.