Stock Quotes in this Article: ASPS, BRCM, CXW, MAN, MHP, MTZ, YNDX

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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McGraw-Hill Companies (MHP)

This is a global information services provider serving the education, financial services and business information markets with a range of information products and services. This stock is trading up 3.3% at $56.08 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 4.77 million

Average Volume: 1.87 million

Volume % Change: 313%

Shares of MHP are spiking higher today after the company declared a special dividend of $2.50 per share on Dec. 27 to shareholders of record on Dec. 18.

From a technical perspective, MHP is bouncing higher here right above its 50-day moving average of $53.51 with monster upside volume. This move is quickly pushing the stock within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit once MHP takes out its 52-week high at $56.75 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in MHP as long as it's trending above today's low of $54.52, and then once it sustains a move or close above its 52-weeek high with volume that hits near or above 1.87 million shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then MHP will enter new 52-week high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets are $60 to $65 in the near future.

Broadcom (BRCM)

This company is a provider of semiconductors for wired and wireless communications. This stock is trading up 1.8% at $33.97 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 9.39 million

Average Volume: 7.19 million

Volume % Change: 150%

Shares of BRCM are ticking higher here after D.A. Davidson raised its estimates through 2013.

From a technical perspective, BRCM is moving higher here and starting to flirt with its 200-day moving average of $34.06 with above-average volume. This move is quickly pushing BRCM within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit once BRCM manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $34.78 to $35 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in BRCM as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $32.45, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 7.19 million shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then BRCM will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels $36 to $36.88. Any move above those levels will then put $36.91 to $37.56 into focus for shares of BRCM.

Corrections Corporation of America (CXW)

This company is an owner and operator of privatized correctional and detention facilities and a prison operator in the United States behind only the federal government and three states. This stock is trading up 2.7% at $35.06 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 948,000

Average Volume: 777,006

Volume % Change: 91%

From a technical perspective, CXW is gapping up here right off some near-term support at $33.86 with above-average volume. This move is quickly pushing CXW within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit once CXW manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $35.22 to $35.52 and then once it clears its 52-week high of $35.73 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in CXW as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $33.54, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 777,006 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then CXW 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 $45 in the near future.

Yandex (YNDX)

This is an Internet company. It offers access to its search engine through personal computers, mobile phones, tablets, and navigation and other digital devices. It operates mainly in Russia. This stock is trading up 4.6% at $23 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 1.23 million

Average Volume: 1.38 million

Volume % Change: 86%

From a technical perspective, YNDX is ripping higher here back above its 50-day moving average of $22.54 with above-average volume. This stock has been trending inside of a range of the past month, with shares moving between $20.34 on the downside and $22.81 on the upside. Shares of YNDX are starting to move outside of the higher-end of that range that today. This move is also quickly pushing YNDX close to triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit once YNDX takes out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $24.52 to $25.23 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in YNDX as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $22.54, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 1.38 million shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then YNDX will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $26 to $28. Any high-volume move above $28.14 will then push YNDX into new 52-week high territory, which is bullish technical price action.

Altisource Portfolio Solutions S.A. (ASPS)

This company is a provider of real estate, mortgage, and asset recovery and customer relationship management services. This stock is trading up 5.2% at $106.49 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 258,000

Average Volume: 230,898

Volume % Change: 57%

From a technical perspective, ASPS is ripping higher here back above its 50-day moving average of $106.43 with above-average volume. This move is quickly pushing ASPS within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit once ASPS takes out some near-term overhead resistance at $108.23 to $110 with high volume. At last check, ASPS has hit an intraday high of $109.24 and volume is just starting to track above its three-month average action of 230,898 shares.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in ASPS as long as it's trending near or above its 50-day at $106.43, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 230,898 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then ASPS will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $115.15 to $129.72.

ManpowerGroup (MAN)

This company is in the employment services industry whose five brands are Manpower, Manpower Professional, Elan, Jefferson Wells and Right Management provides a range of services for the entire employment and business cycle. This stock is trading up 3.3% at $40.99 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 805,000

Average Volume: 796,229

Volume % Change: 66%

From a technical perspective, MAN is ripping higher here above some near-term overhead resistance levels at $39.48 to $40.47 with above-average volume. This move is quickly pushing MAN within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit once MAN takes out some near-term overhead resistance at $41.31 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in MAN as long as it's trending above $39.48 to $40.47 and then once it sustains a move or close above $41.31 with volume that hits near or above 796,229 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then MAN will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $43 to $44.

MasTec (MTZ)

This is an infrastructure construction company, engages in engineering, building, installing, maintaining, and upgrading energy, communication, and utility infrastructure in North America. This stock is trading up 3.1% at $23.61 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 1.10 million

Average Volume: 947,648

Volume % Change: 62%

From a technical perspective, MTZ is bouncing higher here right above its 50-day moving average of $21.91 with above-average volume. This move has also pushed shares of MTZ above some near-term overhead resistance at $23. Shares of MTZ are now moving within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit once MTZ manages to take out its 52-week high of $24.40 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in MTZ as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $21.91, and then once it sustains a move or close above $24.40 with volume that hits near or above 947,648 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then MTZ will set up to enter new 52-week high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $28 to $30 in the near future.

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.