Stock Quotes in this Article: MEG, NGLS, SPSC, UGI, ZOLT

MADISON, 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.

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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Zoltek Companies

Zoltek Companies (ZOLT) is engaged in the development, manufacture and marketing of carbon fibers for different applications. This stock closed up 3.9% at $13.33 on Wednesday.

Wednesday's Volume: 713,000

Average Volume: 284,897

Volume % Change: 171%

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From a technical perspective, ZOLT bounced notably higher here right off its 50-day moving average of $12.95 with above-average volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of ZOLT within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit if ZOLT manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $13.46 to its 52-week high at $13.93 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in ZOLT as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $12.95 or above some more key near-term support at $12.57 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 284,897 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then ZOLT will set up to enter new 52-week high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are its next significant overhead resistance levels at $15 to $16, or even $20.

Media General

Media General (MEG) is a provider of news, information and entertainment across 18 network-affiliated television stations, digital media and mobile platforms, serving consumers and advertisers in strong local markets, primarily in the Southeastern U.S. This stock closed up 11.5% at $10.56 on Wednesday.

Wednesday's Volume: 473,000

Average Volume: 228,025

Volume % Change: 138%

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From a technical perspective, MEG soared higher here right above some near-term support at $9.05 with above-average volume. This move pushed shares of MEG into breakout and new 52-week high territory, since the stock closed above some key near-term overhead resistance levels at $9.95 to $10.17. At last check, MEG hit an intraday high of $10.60 and volume was well above its three-month average action of 228,025 shares.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in MEG as long as it's trending above $9.84 and then once it sustains a move or close above its 52-week high at $10.60 with volume that hits near or above 228,025 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then MEG will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $13 to $15, or possibly even north of $15.

Targa Resources Partners

Targa Resources Partners (NGLS) is a provider of midstream natural gas and NGL services in the U.S. This stock closed up 2.6% at $48.17 on Wednesday.

Wednesday's Volume: 1.18 million

Average Volume: 413,400

Volume % Change: 162%

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From a technical perspective, NGLS trended higher here back above its 50-day moving average at $47.40 with above-average volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of NGLS within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if NGLS manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $49.25 to its 52-week high at $49.96 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in NGLS as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $47.40, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 413,400 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then NGLS will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $53 to $55.

UGI

UGI (UGI) is a domestic and international retail distributor of propane and butane, natural gas and electric service through regulated local distribution utilities. This stock closed up 3.2% to $38.74 on Wednesday.

Wednesday's Volume: 1.44 million

Average Volume: 657,342

Volume % Change: 107%

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From a technical perspective, UGI trended higher here with above-average volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of UGI within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if UGI manages to take out its 50-day moving average at $39.40 and then once it clears more near-term overhead resistance at $39.45 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in UGI as long as it's trending above $37 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 657,342 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then UGI will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance level at its 52-week high of $42.11. Any high-volume move above that level will then give UGI a chance to tag $45.

SPS Commerce

SPS Commerce (SPSC) is a provider of on-demand supply chain management solutions, providing integration, collaboration, connectivity, visibility and data analytics to thousands of customers globally. This stock closed up 2.2% at $52.72 on Wednesday.

Wednesday's Volume: 203,000

Average Volume: 74,527

Volume % Change: 152%

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From a technical perspective, SPSC bounced higher here right above its 50-day moving average of $49.57 with above-average volume. This stock has been uptrending strong for the last two months and change, with shares moving higher from its low of $39.16 to its recent high of $57.34. During that uptrend, shares of SPSC have been mostly making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move is now starting to push shares of SPSC within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if SPSC manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $54 to its 52-week high at $57.34 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in SPSC as long as it's trending above its 50-day moving average at $49.57 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that's near or above 74,527 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then SPSC will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $60 to $63.

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

-- Written by Roberto Pedone in Madison, Wis.

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

Roberto Pedone, based out of Madison, 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.