Stock Quotes in this Article: RBC, URI, WOOF, UAL, IPHI

DELAFIELD, Wis. (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 recently.

Inphi

Inphi (IPHI) provides high-speed analog and mixed signal semiconductor solutions for the communications, datacenter and computing markets. This stock closed up 4.6% at $11.60 on Wednesday.

Wednesday's Volume: 874,000

Average Volume: 137,914

Volume % Change: 517%

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From a technical perspective, IPHI ripped higher here right above its 50-day moving average at $10.77 with heavy upside volume. This stock has been uptrending strong for the last three months, with shares moving higher from its low of $8.62 to its intraday high of $11.67. During that move, shares of IPHI have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now pushed shares of IPHI within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit if IPHI manages to take out some past overhead resistance at $12.25 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in IPHI as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $10.77 or above more support at $10.60 and then once it sustains a move or close above $12.25 with volume that hits near or above 137,914 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then IPHI will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $14.79 to $15.

VCA Antech

VCA Antech (WOOF) operates as an animal healthcare company in the U.S. and Canada. This stock closed up 1.9% at $28.02 on Wednesday.

Wednesday's Volume: 2.14 million

Average Volume: 771,456

Volume % Change: 193%

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From a technical perspective, WOOF trended modestly higher here right above some near-term support at $27.50 with heavy upside volume. This stock has been uptrending strong for the last three months, with shares soaring higher from its low of $20.89 to its intraday high of $28.19. During that move, shares of WOOF have been mostly making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now pushed shares of WOOF into new 52-week-high territory.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in WOOF as long as it's trending above $27.50 or above $26.50 and then once it sustains a move or close above it 52-week high at $28.19 with volume that this near or above 771,456 shares. If we get that move soon, then WOOF 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.

United Continental

United Continental (UAL), through its subsidiaries, provides passenger and cargo air transportation services. This stock closed up 8.1% at $33.69 on Wednesday.

Wednesday's Volume: 7.91 million

Average Volume: 3.57 million

Volume % Change: 200%

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From a technical perspective, UAL ripped higher here right off some near-term support at $31 and back above its 50-day at $32.35 with heavy upside volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of UAL within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit if UAL manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $35 to its 52-week high at $35.27 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in UAL as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $32.35 or above $31 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that's near or above 3.57 million shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then UAL will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $40 to $43.

Regal Beloit

Regal Beloit (RBC) manufactures and sells electric motors and controls, electric generators and controls and mechanical motion control products in the U.S., Asia and internationally. This stock closed up 1.4% at $66.46 on Wednesday.

Wednesday's Volume: 865,000

Average Volume: 431,197

Volume % Change: 132%

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From a technical perspective, RBC trended higher here back above its 50-day moving average at $66.20 with high volume. This stock recently formed a double bottom chart pattern at $61.89 to $61.66. Following that bottom, shares of RBC have ripped higher and are now moving within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit if RBC manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $68.53 to $68.86 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in RBC as long as it's trending above $65 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that's near or above 431,197 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then RBC will set up to re-fill some of its previous gap down zone from early May that started at $78.46. Some possible upside targets if RBC gets into that gap with volume are its 200-day at $71 or $73.

United Rentals

United Rentals (URI) is an equipment rental company whose network consists of 529 rental locations in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. This stock closed up 10.5% at $56.37 on Wednesday.

Wednesday's Volume: 8.50 million

Average Volume: 2.27 million

Volume % Change: 290%

Shares of URI skyrocketed higher on Wednesday after the company reported earnings of $1.12 per share for its second quarter, which was 11 cents above Wall Street's estimates.

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From a technical perspective, URI exploded higher here right off its 50-day moving average of $53.33 with monster upside volume. This move punched shares of URI into breakout territory, since the stock cleared some near-term overhead resistance at $53.94. Shares of URI are now quickly moving within range of triggering another major breakout trade. That trade will hit if URI manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance level at $58.03 to its 52-week high at $59.74 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in URI as long as it's trending above $55 or $54 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that's near or above 2.27 million shares. If that breakout hits soon, then URI will set up to trend well north of $60 as the stock enters new 52-week-high territory.

To see more stocks rising on unusual volume, check out the Stocks Rising on Unusual Volume portfolio on Stockpickr.

-- Written by Roberto Pedone in Delafield, Wis.

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At the time of publication, author had no positions in stocks mentioned.

Roberto Pedone, based out of Delafield, Wis., 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.