Stock Quotes in this Article: BKS, CNQR, INFI, NNI, INVN

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.

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

Nelnet (NNI)

This is an education services company focused mainly on providing fee-based processing services and quality education-related products and services in four core areas: loan financing, loan servicing, payment processing, and enrollment services. This stock is trading up 3.4% at $29.41 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 190,000

Average Volume: 99,066

Volume % Change: 255%

From a technical perspective, NNI is bouncing higher here right off some near-term support at $28.23 with above-average volume. This move has started to push NNI into new 52-week high territory, since the stock has broken out above some near-term overhead resistance at $29.24.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in NNI as long as it's trending above $28.23 with strong upside volume flows. I would consider any upside volume day that registers near or above 99,066 shares as bullish. If NNI can maintain that trend, then this stock will set up to trend well north of $30 in the near future.

InvenSense (INVN)

This company provides intelligent motion processing solutions that enable a motion-based user interface for consumer electronics. This stock is trading up 6.3% at $10.73 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 1.68 million

Average Volume: 1.14 million

Volume % Change: 136%

From a technical perspective, INVN is ripping higher here right off some near-term support at $10 with above-average volume. This move has also started to push INVN into breakout territory, since the stock has cleared some near-term overhead resistance at $10.56. That move is pushing INVN within range of triggering another breakout trade. That trade will hit once INVN clears its 50-day at $11.22 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in INVN as long as it's trending above $10 to $10.56, and then once it sustains a move or close above its 50-day at $11.22 with volume that hits near or above 1.14 million shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then INVN will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $11.96 to $12.98.

Concur Technologies (CNQR)

This is a global provider of on-demand Employee Spend Management solutions. Its solutions unite online travel procurement with automated expense reporting, streamline corporate event management. This stock is trading up 5.5% at $65.23 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 771,000

Average Volume: 490,100

Volume % Change: 129%

Shares of CNQR are soaring today after Wunderlich Securities predicted sold growth next year for the company. Analyst Richard Baldry raised his rating to buy from hold and reiterated his price target of $84 over the next 12 to 18 months.

From a technical perspective, CNQR is trending up here right above some near-term support at $61.58 and back above its 200-day at $64.78 with above-average volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of CNQR within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit once CNQR manages to clear some near-term overhead resistance levels at $65.98 to its 50-day at $66.46 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in CNQR as long as it's trending above its 200-day at $64.78, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 490,100 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then CNQR will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $68.24 to $70.

Barnes & Noble (BKS)

This company is engaged in sale of trade books, mass market paperbacks, children's books, bargain books, magazines, gift, music and movies direct to customers. This stock is trading up 6.2% at $15.64 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 1.62 million

Average Volume: 1.19 million

Volume % Change: 120%

From a technical perspective, BKS is ripping to the upside here right off its 50-day at $14.85 with above-average volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of BKS within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit once BKS manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $16.24 to $17.10 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in BKS as long as it's trending near or above its 200-day at $14.41, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 1.19 million shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then BKS will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $17.68 to $19.58.

Infinity Pharmaceuticals (INFI)

This company discovers, develops, and delivers medicines for the treatment of cancer and related conditions. This stock is trading up 15.8% at $26.09 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 2.68 million

Average Volume: 461,165

Volume % Change: 706%

From a technical perspective, INFI is exploding higher here back above its 50-day at $23.54 with monster upside volume. This move is quickly pushing INFI within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit once INFI manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $26.10 to $26.80 and then once it clears its 52-week high of $27.29 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in INFI once it manages to sustain a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 461,165 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then INFI will set up to enter new 52-week high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $30 to $35 in the near future.

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.