Stock Quotes in this Article: CGX, CLF, EGOV, FCX, SMG, VIPS

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.

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

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Vipshop (VIPS)

This company offers high-quality branded products to consumers in China through flash sales on its vipshop.com website. This stock is trading up 8.1% at $14.48 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 213,000

Average Volume: 105,415

Volume % Change: 308%

From a technical perspective, VIPS is ripping higher here and starting to enter breakout territory above $14.25 with above average volume. This move today has pushed shares of VIPS into all-time high territory, since the stock has tagged an intraday high of $14.50.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in VIPS as long as it's trending above today's low of $13.50 with strong upside volume flows. I would consider any upside volume day that registers near or above 105,415 shares as bullish. If VIPS can maintain that trend, then the stock has a great chance of trading well north of $15 in the near future.

NIC (EGOV)

This company is a provider of eGovernment services which helps governments use the Internet to increase internal efficiencies and provide a higher level of service to businesses and citizens. This stock is trading up 5.7% at $15.50 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 423,000

Average Volume: 185,623

Volume % Change: 256%

From a technical perspective, EGOV is gapping up sharply here back above its 50-day moving average of $14.76 with above-average volume. This move is quickly pushing EGOV within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit once EGOV mangos to take out some near-term overhead resistance and its 52-week high of $15.80 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in EGOV as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $14.76, and then once it sustains a move or close above $15.80 with volume that hits near or above 185,623 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then EGOV will seat up to enter new 52-week high territory, which is bullish price action. Some possible upside targets are $17 to $20 in the near future.

Consolidated Graphics (CGX)

This company is a provider of commercial printing services with approximately 70 printing businesses strategically located across 27 states, one Canadian province, and in Prague, the Czech Republic. This stock is trading up 2.1% at $34.45 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 271,000

Average Volume: 63,827

Volume % Change: 547%

From a technical perspective, CGX is bouncing higher here right above some near-term support at $33.28 with heavy upside volume. This stock has been uptrending strong for the last two months, with shares soaring from a low of $25.35 to its recent high of $35.34. During that move, shares of CGX have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now pushed CGX within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit once CGX clears some near-term overhead resistance at $35.34 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in CGX as long as it's trending above $33.28, and then once it sustains a move or close above $35.34 with volume that hits near or above 63,827 shares. If that breakout triggers, then CGX will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance level at $40.

Cliffs Natural Resources (CLF)

This company is a mining & natural resources company. It produces iron ore pellets, fines and lump ore, and metallurgical coal. This stock is trading up 4.8% at $33.87 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 8.09 million

Average Volume: 8.28 million

Volume % Change: 75%

From a technical perspective, CLF is spiking higher here right off some near-term support at $32 with decent volume. This spike is occurring right below its 50-day moving average of $35.56. Shares of CLF are now pushing within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit once CLF manages to take out its 50-day at $35.56 and then once it clears more overhead resistance at $36.27 to $37.68 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in CLF as long as it's trending above $32, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 8.28 million shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then N will set up to enter

Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold (FCX)

This is an international mining company. It engages in the mining of copper, gold and molybdenum. This stock is trading up 4.2% at $33.85 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 22.73 million

Average Volume: 18.99 million

Volume % Change: 85%

From a technical perspective, FCX is ripping higher here right off some near-term support at $32 with above-average volume. This stock recently gapped down big from over $38 to under $32 with heavy downside volume. Following that move, shares of FCX went on to hit a low of $30.54 before rebounding back to its current price of $33.85. That rebound has now started to push FCX into breakout territory, since the stock is trending above its gap down day high of $33.71.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in FCX as long as it's trending above $32, and then once it sustains a move or close above $33.71 with strong upside volume flows. Look for volume on that move that hits near or above its three-month average action of 18.99 million shares. If FCX can maintain that trend, then this stock will set up to re-test or possibly take out its 200-day moving average of $36.35 or its 50-day moving average of $38.21.

Scotts Miracle-Gro (SMGl)

This company is engaged in the marketing and sale of branded products for consumer lawn and garden care. This stock is trading up 2.6% at $42.96 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 598,000

Average Volume: 322,148

Volume % Change: 150%

From a technical perspective, SMG is ripping higher here right off its 50-day moving average of $41.98 with above-average volume. This stock has been uptrending strong for the last month and change, with shares moving from a low of $39.33 to its recent high of $43.33. During that move, shares of SMG have been making mostly higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now pushed SMG within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit once SMG manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at its 200-day of $43.75 and then some more resistance at $44.24 to $44.65 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in SMG as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $41.98, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 322,148 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then SMG will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $48 to $52.

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.