Stock Quotes in this Article: AFCE, NWSA, ROSG, STRA, STX

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. Many times when above average volume moves into 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.”

>>5 Hated Stocks Poised to Pop on Bullish Earnings

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.

AFC Enterprises

AFC Enterprises (AFCE) develops, operates, and franchises quick-service restaurants under the trade names Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits and Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen. This stock is trading up 5.2% at $22.78 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 193,000

Average Volume: 93,375

Volume % Change: 230%

From a technical perspective, AFCE is ripping higher here with above-average volume. This move has pushed AFCE into breakout territory, since the stock has moved above some near-term overhead resistance at $22.59.

>>4 Stocks Poised to Break Out

Traders should continue to look for long-biased trades as long as AFCE is trending above $22 to $22.59 with strong upside volume flows. I would consider any upside volume day that registers near or above 93,375 shares as bullish. If we continue to see that action, then AFCE should trade north of $25 in the near future.

On the flipside, any high-volume move below some near-term support at $20.36 to $20.21, and then below its 50-day moving average at $19.21 would have me looking for short-biased trades.

News Corp.

News Corp. (NWSA) is a diversified global media company. This stock is trading up 6.1% at $21.33 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 38.6 million

Average Volume: 16.2 million

Volume % Change: 308%

Shares of NWSA are ripping higher today after the company confirmed multiple reports that it’s considering a restricting to separate its business into two distinct publicly traded companies, splitting its publishing assets from its entertainment businesses.

>>5 Stocks Immune to Europe's Problems

From a technical perspective, is gapping up strong here with monster volume. This move has pushed the stock into breakout territory, since it has taken out some major past overhead resistance at around $20.40 to $20.70.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades if NWSA is trending above today’s high with heavy volume. At last check, NWSA has hit an intraday high of $21.75 and volume is well above its three-month average action. I would consider any upside volume day that registers near or above 16,181,700 shares as bullish.

On the flipside, I would avoid this stock if it moves back below those key breakout levels of $20.70 to $20.40 with heavy volume.

As of the most recently reported period, News Corp. was one of Bridgewater Associates' holdings and also showed up on in Seth Klarman's Baupost Group portfolio.

Rosetta Genomics

Rosetta Genomics (ROSG) develops and commercializes diagnostic tests based on microRNAs. This stock is trading up 6.8% at $12.55 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 1.5 million

Average Volume: 1 million

Volume % Change: 103%

>>Hot Biotech Stocks Traded by Hedge Funds

From a technical perspective, ROSG is ripping to the upside here with above-average volume. This move is quickly pushing ROSG within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit once ROSG takes out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $13.38 to $17.35 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades once ROSG sustains a move or close above those levels with volume that’s near or above 1 million shares. I would look to get long once ROSG takes out $13.38 with volume, and then add above $17.35. If we get that action soon, then this stock could possibly re-test and take out its May high of $22.43.

On the flipside, I would avoid ROSG or look for short-biased trades if it fails to trigger that move and then drops below some near-term support at $9.34 with heavy volume.

RBC Bearings

RBC Bearings (ROLL) is an international manufacturer and marketer of engineered precision plain, roller and ball bearings. This stock is trading up 2.3% at $45.18 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 84,805

Average Volume: 86,791

Volume % Change: 63%

>>5 Rocket Stocks Worth Buying This Week

From a technical perspective, RBC Bearings is moving modestly higher here as the stock bounces off some previous support at around $44. Volume so far today is gearing up to finish above its average action.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades once ROLL moves back above its 50-day moving average of $45.58 with high volume. Look for a sustained move or close above $45.58 with volume that’s near or above 86,761 shares. If we get that action today or soon, then look for ROLL to possibly re-test and take out its June high of $47.94.

Seagate Technology

Seagate Technology (STX) designs, manufactures, markets and sells hard disk drives. This stock is trading up 4.6% at $24.34 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 13.1 million

Average Volume: 12.6 million

Volume % Change: 63%

From a technical perspective, STX is gapping up sharply here with above-average volume. This move is coming off some previous support levels at around $22.50, and it’s quickly pushing the stock within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit once STX takes out some near-term overhead resistance at $24.68 with high volume.

>>5 Bargain Stocks With Tons of Cash

Traders should now look for long-biased trades once STX sustains a move or close above $24.68 with volume that’s near or above 12.6 million shares. If we get that action today or soon, then traders should add to any long positions once STX clears its 50-day at $26.99, and some more resistance at $27.10 with strong volume.

As of the most recently reported period, Seagate was one of Edward Lampert's holdings and also showed up in David Einhorn's Greenlight Capital portfolio.

UMB Financial

UMB Financial (UMBF) is a multi-bank holding company. UMB offers a range of banking and other financial services to its customers through its branches and offices in the states of Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, Illinois, Oklahoma, Arizona, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Indiana, Wisconsin, Utah, New Jersey and Massachusetts. This stock is trading up 1.2% at $49.45 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 231,000

Average Volume: 199,755

Volume % Change: 75%

>>7 Highest-Rated Small-Cap Bank Stocks

From a technical perspective, UMBF is moving modestly higher here with above average volume. This move has pushed the stock into breakout territory, since UMBF has taken out some major near-term overhead resistance at $48.71 to $49.01 with high volume.

Traders should continue to look for long-biased trades as long as UMBF is trending above $48.71 to 449.01 with strong upside volume flows. I would consider any upside volume day that hits near or above 199,755 shares as bullish. If we continue to see that action, then look for UMBF to trade north of $50 in the near future.

Strayer Education

Strayer Education (STRA) provides post-secondary education services. This stock is trading up 4.9% at $98.28 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 152,000

Average Volume: 169,383

Volume % Change: 50%.

From a technical perspective, STRA is gapping up sharply here with decent volume. This move is coming right off its 200-day moving average of $93.30, and it’s pushed the stock into breakout territory since STRA has taken out some near-term overhead resistance at $94.81.

Traders should now look to play the next major breakout for STRA. That trade will trigger once STRA takes out some past overhead resistance at $103.68 with high-volume. Look for a sustained move or close above $103.68 with volume that’s near or above 169,383 shares. Traders can look to get long above $94.81 to anticipate that breakout, with a stop right around that level or higher. If we get that breakout above $103.68 soon, then STAA could easily hit its next significant overhead resistance level at $111.25.

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.

RELATED LINKS:

>>5 Foreign Stocks That Could Pop This Summer
>>Buy Ken Fisher's 5 Favorite Stocks

>>7 Dividend Stocks That Want to Pay You More Cash

Follow Stockpickr on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.

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 stocks, options, futures, commodities and currencies. He is also an outside contributor to Beconequity.com and maintains the website Maddmoney.net, which he sold to Blue Wave Advisors in 2008. Roberto studied International Business at The Milwaukee School of Engineering, and he spent a year overseas studying business in Lubeck, Germany.