Stock Quotes in this Article: AKAM, IL, NVDA, PRFT, AWAY

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 today.

Perficient

Perficient (PRFT) designs, develops, implements and integrates secure and scalable enterprise portals for its clients and their customers, suppliers and partners. This stock closed up 3% at $21.51 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 312,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 196,322

Volume % Change: 85%

From a technical perspective, PRFT trended higher here right above its 50-day moving average of $19.43 with above-average volume. This stock has been uptrending strong for the last five months, with shares moving higher from its low of $12.51 to its recent high of $21.90. During that uptrend, shares of PRFT have been making mostly higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now pushed shares of PRFT within range of triggering a big breakout trade. That trade will hit if PRFT manages to take out Wednesday's high of $21.60 to its 52-week high at $21.90 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in PRFT as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $19.43 or above more support at $19.29 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that's near or above 196,322 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then PRFT will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $25 to $27.

Akamai Technologies

Akamai Technologies (AKAM) provides services for accelerating and improving the delivery of content and applications over the Internet. This stock closed up 0.46% at $45.86 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 3.37 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 2.13 million

Volume % Change: 95%

From a technical perspective, AKAM spiked modestly higher here right above its 200-day moving average of $44.09 with above-average volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of AKAM within range of triggering a big breakout trade. That trade will hit if AKAM manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance at $46.85 to its 50-day moving average of $48 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in AKAM as long as it's trending above its 200-day at $44.09 or above more support at $43.87 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that's near or above 2.13 million shares. If that breakout hits soon, then AKAM will set up to re-fill some of its previous gap down zone from October that started near $53.

IntraLinks

IntraLinks (IL) is a provider of software-as-a-service solutions for securely managing content, exchanging critical business information and enabling inter-enterprise collaboration. This stock closed up 2.8% at $10.99 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 874,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 256,316

Volume % Change: 175%

From a technical perspective, IL spiked higher here right above some near-term support at $10.40 with above-average volume. This stock has been trending sideways and consolidating for the last month, with shares moving between $9.96 on the downside and $11.24 on the upside. This move is starting to push shares of IL within range of triggering a breakout trade above the upper-end of its recent sideways trading chart pattern. That trade will hit if IL manages to take out Wednesday's high of $11.09 to its 52-week high at $11.24 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in IL as long as it's trending above some near-term support at $10.40 or above its 50-day at $9.88 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that's near or above 256,316 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then IL will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $14 to $15.

HomeAway

HomeAway (AWAY) is an online marketplace for the vacation rental industry. This stock closed up 1.4% at $38.31 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 2.20 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 1.38 million

Volume % Change: 125%

From a technical perspective, shares of AWAY spiked modestly higher here with above-average volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of AWAY within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit if AWAY manages to take out Wednesday's high of $38.66 to its 52-week high of $39.22 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in AWAY as long as it's trending above Wednesday's low of $37.40 or above $36 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that's near or above 1.38 million shares. If that breakout hits soon, then AWAY will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $44 to its all-time high at $45.75.

Nvidia

Nvidia (NVDA) is engaged in creating the graphics chips used in personal computers that bring games and home movies to life. This stock closed up 1.4% at $15.96 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 12.32 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 6.87 million

Volume % Change: 215%

From a technical perspective, NVDA spiked modestly higher here right above its 50-day moving average of $15.43 with heavy upside volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of NVDA within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit if NVDA manages to take out some key overhead resistance levels at $16.23 to $16.43 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in NVDA as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $15.43 or above more near-term support at $15.15 to $14.44 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that's near or above 6.87 million shares. If that breakout hits soon, then NVDA will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $19 to $20.

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.