Stock Quotes in this Article: FIO, SIMO, SINA, SNDK, SPLK

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.”

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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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Fusion-IO

Fusion-IO (FIO), a provider of data center solutions, is trading up 5.4% at $20.06 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 3.07 million

Average Volume: 2.82 million

Volume % Change: 122%

From a technical perspective, FIO is bouncing here right above some near-term support at $18.85 with above-average volume. This stock recently broke below some key near-term support levels at $21.63 to $21.14, after it failed at its 50-day moving average of $22.73. That slide has pushed FIO into oversold territory, since its relative strength index hit 30. Oversold can always get more oversold, but it’s also an area where a stock can produce a powerful upward bounce from.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in FIO as long as it’s trending above that recent low of $18.85 with strong upside volume flows. I would consider any upside volume day that registers near or above its three-month average action of 2.82 million shares. If FIO can maintain that trend, then this stock has a great chance of rebounding back towards its next significant overhead resistance levels at $22 to $22.73. Any move above $22.73 will then put its 200-day at $24.09 into range for shares of FIO.

SanDisk

SanDisk (SNDK) designs, develops, markets and manufactures flash storage card products used in a number of consumer electronics products. This stock is trading up 1.9% at $46.47 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 3.85 million

Average Volume: 4.71 million

Volume % Change: 68%

From a technical perspective, SNDK is ripping higher here right off some near-term support at $45 with decent volume. This stock has been up-trending strongly for the last two months, with shares moving up from its low of $38.47 to its recent high of $46.97. During that move, shares of SNDK have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now pushed SNDK within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit if SNDK clears some past overhead resistance levels at $46.84 to $46.99 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in SNDK as long as it’s trending above $45 to $44, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 4.71 million shares. If that breakout hits soon, then SNDK will set up to re-fill its previous gap down zone from last April that started near $50.

Sina

Sina (SINA) is an online media company and MVAS provider in the People's Republic of China and for the global Chinese communities. This stock is trading up 2% at $55.35 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 2.38 million

Average Volume: 2.53 million

Volume % Change: 66%

From a technical perspective, Sina is moving modestly higher here back above its 200-day moving average of $54.50 with decent upside volume. This stock has been uptrending strongly for the last month and change, with shares moving higher from its low of $41.14 to its intraday high of $56.10. During that move, SINA has been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move is now quickly pushing SINA within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if SINA manages to clear some near-term overhead resistance levels at $55.19 to $58.58 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in SINA as long as it’s trending above its 200-day at $54.50, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 2.53 million shares. If that breakout hits soon, then SINA will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $60 to $62.50. Any high-volume move above $62.50 will then put $63.36 to $65 into range for shares of SINA.
Splunk

Splunk (SPLK) provides an innovative software platform that enables organizations to gain real-time operational intelligence by harnessing the value of their data. Its software collects and indexes data at massive scale, regardless of format or source. This stock is trading up 6.8% at $31.80 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 2.31 million

Average Volume: 1.36 million

Volume % Change: 205%

Shares of SPLK are spiking significantly higher today after rumors made the rounds that IBM might be interested in acquiring the company.

From a technical perspective, SPLK is soaring higher here right above its 50-day moving average of $28.46 with heavy upside volume. This move has started to push shares of SPLK into breakout territory, since the stock has cleared some near-term overhead resistance at $30.92. This move is quickly pushing SPLK within range of triggering another near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if SPLK takes out some more near-term overhead resistance levels at $32 to $33 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in SPLK as long as it’s trending above $30.92, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 1.36 million shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then SPLK will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $35 to $36.

Silicon Motion Technology

Silicon Motion Technology (SIMO) is a fabless semiconductor company that designs, develops and markets, high-performance, low-power semiconductor solutions for the multimedia consumer electronics market. This stock is trading up 5.6% at $15.42 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 480,000

Average Volume: 294,677

Volume % Change: 228%

From a technical perspective, SIMO is ripping higher here right off its 200-day moving average of $14.88 with above-average volume. This stock has been uptrending strongly for the last month and change, with shares moving higher from its low of $12.50 to its intraday high of $15.49. During that move, shares of SIMO have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now pushed SIMO within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if SIMO manages to clear some near-term overhead resistance levels at $16.10 to $16.57 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in SIMO as long as it’s trending above its 200-day moving average of $14.88 or above near-term support at $14.50, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 294,677 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then SIMO will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $17.07 to $18. Any high-volume move above $18 will then put $19 into range for shares of SIMO.

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.