Stock Quotes in this Article: GGC, IMAX, MCP, ONXX, TWI, VVUS, 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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Vivus (VVUS)

This is a biopharmaceutical company engaged in the development and commercialization of therapeutic products for large underserved markets. This stock closed up 8.1% at $14.87 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 18.52 million

Average Volume: 4.82 million

Volume % Change: 256%

Shares of VVUS are ripping higher today after the company said it shipped 12,978 Qsymia prescriptions in the period ending on Dec. 21, up more than 67% from the previous four-week period.

From a technical perspective, VVUS is gapped up sharply higher today with monster upside volume. This move has pushed shares of VVUS into breakout territory, since the stock has cleared some near-term overhead resistance at $14.01.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in VVUS as long as it's trending above that key breakout level of $14.01 with strong upside volume flows. I would consider any upside volume day that registers near or above its three-month average action of 4.82 million shares as bullish. If VVUS can maintain that trend, then this stock could hit $18 to $20 in the near future.

Imax (IMAX)

This is an entertainment technology company, specializing in motion picture technologies and large-format motion picture presentations. This stock closed up 5.4% at $24.08 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 2.77 million

Average Volume: 677,003

Volume % Change: 251%

From a technical perspective, IMAX ripped higher today right above some near-term support at $22.50 with heavy upside volume. This move has started to push IMAX into breakout territory, since the stock has cleared some near-term overhead resistance at $23.29. Shares of IMAX are now moving within range of triggering another major breakout trade. That trade will hit once IMAX takes out some past overhead resistance levels at $23.82 to $23.95 with high volume. At last check, IMAX has hit an intraday high of $24.17.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in IMAX as long as it's trending above $23, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 677,003 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then IMAX will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $25 to $25.99.

Georgia Gulf (GGC)

This company is a manufacturer and an international marketer of chlorovinyl and aromatics chemicals and also manufacture and market vinyl-based building and home improvement products. This stock closed up 2.6% at $43.47 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 3.23 million

Average Volume: 889,428

Volume % Change: 291%

From a technical perspective, GGC bounced higher today right off its 50-day moving average of $41.93 with heavy upside volume. This move has started to push GGC into breakout territory, since the stock has pushed above some near-term overhead resistance at $43. Shares of GGC are now quickly moving within range of triggering another breakout trade. That trade will hit once GGC takes out some more near-term overhead resistance at $44.87 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in GGC as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $41.93, and then once it sustains a move or close above $43 to $44.87 with volume that hits near or above 889,428 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then GGC will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $46.26 to $47.08. Any move above $47.17 will then push GGC into new 52-week high territory, which is bullish technical price action.

Vipshop Holdings (VIPS)

This company offers high-quality branded products to consumers in China through flash sales on its vipshop.com website. This stock closed up 8.3% at $17.98 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 202,000

Average Volume: 128,477

Volume % Change: 102%

From a technical perspective, VIPS trended sharply higher today right above some near-term support at $16.11 with above-average volume. This stock has been uptrending strongly for the last five months, with shares soaring from a low of $4.76 to its recent high of $19.31. During that move, shares of VIPS have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now pushed VIPS within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit if VIPS manages to clear some near-term overhead resistance levels at $18.13 to $19.31 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in VIPS as long as it's trending above $16.11, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 128,477 million shares. If that breakout hits soon, then VIPS will set up to enter new 52-week high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $22 to $23.

Molycorp (MCP)

This company is a rare earth oxide producer in the Western Hemisphere. The company owns fully developed rare earth project outside of China. This stock closed up 12% at $11.54 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 19.46 million

Average Volume: 7.29 million

Volume % Change: 134%

From a technical perspective, MCP ripped higher today right off some near-term support at $10 with monster upside volume. This move is quickly pushing MCP within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit if MCP manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $11.37 to $11.75 and then once it clears more overhead resistance at $11.89 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in MCP as long as it's trending above $10, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 7.29 million shares. If that breakout hits soon, then MCP will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $13 to $14.44.

Onyx Pharmaceuticals (ONXX)

This is a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to developing innovative therapies that target the molecular mechanisms that cause cancer. This stock closed up 1% at $82.17 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 1.98 million

Average Volume: 996,654

Volume % Change: 102%

From a technical perspective, ONXX spiked higher today right off some near-term support at $80 with above-average volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of ONXX within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if ONXX manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $83.16 to $85 with high volume. At last check, ONXX has hit an intraday high of $84.85 and volume is well above its three-month average action of 996,654 shares.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in ONXX as long as it's trending above $81.60, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that this near or above 996,654 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then ONXX will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $87.50 to $90.

Titan International (TWI)

This company manufactures both wheels and tires for its target markets. This stock closed up 4.6% at $22.90 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 1.21 million

Average Volume: 641,043

Volume % Change: 80%

From a technical perspective, TWI bounced higher today right off its 200-day moving average of $21.79 with above-average volume. This stock has been uptrending strongly for the last three months, with shares soaring from a low of $16.86 to its recent high of $22.76. During that move, shares of TWI have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now pushed TWI within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit if TWI manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $22.54 to $22.67 with high volume. At last check, TWI has hit an intraday high of $22.99 and volume is well above its three-month average action of 641,043 shares.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in TWI as long as it's trending above its 200-day at $21.79, and then once it sustains a move or close above $22.54 to $22.76 with volume that hits near or above 641,043 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then TWI will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $24 to $25.53.

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.