Stock Quotes in this Article: BSFT, CIEN, TSCO, ZUMZ, UBNT

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.”

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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.

Ciena

Ciena (CIEN) is a provider of communications networking equipment, software and services that support the transport, switching, aggregation and management of voice, video and data traffic. This stock is trading up 7.5% at $12.78 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 11 million

Average Volume: 5.15 million

Volume % Change: 370%

Shares of Ciena, which I featured on Tuesday in "5 Stocks Set to Soar on Bullish Earnings,") are indeed soaring today after the company said Thursday that its second-quarter loss narrowed, helped by a 14% jump in revenue. The company posted a net loss of $27.8 million, or 28 cents per share, compared with a net loss of $62.7 million, or 66 cents per share, in the same quarter last year. Revenue spiked to $477.6 million from $417.9 million. (I also featured Ciena on Tuesday in

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From a technical perspective, CIEN is gapping up sharply higher here on above-average volume. This move has pushed the stock above some near-term overhead resistance at $12.37.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades if CIEN can break out above some more overhead resistance at $13.56, and then above its 50-day moving average of $14.50 with high-volume. Look for a sustained move or close above those levels with volume that’s near or above 5,148,320 shares.

Sanderson Farms

Sanderson Farms (SAFM) is a poultry processing company engaged in the production, processing, marketing and distribution of fresh and frozen chicken products. This stock is trading up 3.7% at $55.47 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 328,000

Average Volume: 224,005

Volume % Change: 217%

From a technical perspective, SAFM is moving notably higher here on above average volume. This move is quickly pushing the stock within range of a breakout trade. That trade will hit once SAFM manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance and its 52-week high at $55.87.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades if SAFM can manage to sustain a move or close above $55.87 with volume that’s near or above 224,005 shares. At last check, SAFM has hit an intraday high of $55.82. If that breakout triggers soon, then I expect SAFM to hit its next significant overhead resistance level at $57.58.

Tractor Supply

Tractor Supply (TSCO) is an operator of retail farm and ranch stores in the United States. This stock is trading up 1.4% at $90.99 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 903,000

Average Volume: 913,436

Volume % Change: 56%

Shares of TSCO are moving modestly higher today after Bank of America Merrill said it views the company’s growth and margin initiatives favorably. The firm has a buy rating on the stock with a $118 price target.

From a technical perspective, TSCO is bouncing modestly higher here off of some near-term support at $87.94 with decent volume. This move follows a recent selloff in the stock that started at $100.41, which happens to be an area that TSCO has run into sellers for the past two months. Trades should now only look for long-biased trades if TSCO can manage to move above yesterday’s high of $92 with high volume.

Look for a sustained move or close above $92 with volume that’s near or above 913,436 shares. If we get that action, then TSCO could bounce back to its 50-day moving average of $95.12. On the flipside, I would look for short-biased trades if TSCO moves back below $89 and then $87.84 with high-volume.

Tractor Supply was also featured recently in "5 Stocks to Profit in a Snapback Rally."

Zumiez

Zumiez (ZUMZ) is a specialty retailer of action sports related apparel, footwear, equipment and accessories operating under the Zumiez brand name. This stock is trading up 5.4% at $36.68 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 437,000

Average Volume: 420,634

Volume % Change: 125%

Shares of ZUMZ are zooming higher today after the company topped same-store sales estimates for May, coming in at 13.7% vs. estimates of 6.6%.

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From a technical perspective, ZUMZ is ripping higher here back above its 50-day moving average of $35.78 on above average volume. This move is quickly pushing ZUMZ within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit once ZUMZ takes out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $37.76 and then its 52-week high of $38.99 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades if ZUMZ can manage to sustain a move or close above those levels with volume that’s near or above 420,634 shares. Keep in mind, that a volume above $38.99 would be very bullish since that level has acted as stiff resistance for the past two months.

BroadSoft

BroadSoft (BSFT) is a global provider of software and services that enable mobile, fixed-line and cable service providers to deliver unified communications and other voice and multimedia services over their Internet protocol-based networks. This stock is trading up 3.1% at $26.50 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 854,000

Average Volume: 665,372

Volume % Change: 145%

From a technical perspective, BSFT is bouncing hard here off of previous support levels and oversold conditions on above average volume. For the past few trading sessions, BSFT has held around the $25 level following a massive selloff from earlier this month that started at $45.32. That big drop has now pushed BSFT into oversold territory since its relative strength index reading is 34.11. Oversold can always get more oversold, but since BSFT is showing some strength here in a broad market selloff, it could now be setting up for higher prices.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades if BSFT can manage to trigger a break out above some near-term overhead resistance at $27.05 to $27.91 with high volume. Look for a sustained move or close above those levels with volume that’s near or above 665,372 shares. If we get that action soon, then look for BSFT to rebound back towards $30 to $32 in the near future.

Neogen

Neogen (NEOG), together with its subsidiaries, develops, manufactures, and markets a diverse line of products dedicated to food and animal safety. This stock is trading up 1.7% at $39.06 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 99,000

Average Volume: 101,158

Volume % Change: 75%

From a technical perspective, NEOG is bouncing modestly here back above its 50-day moving average of $38.43 with decent volume. This move is quickly pushing NEOG within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit once NEOG takes out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $39.50 to $39.71 and then some past overhead resistance at $40.76 to $41.08 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades if NEOG can sustain a move or close above those levels with volume that’s near or above 101,158 shares. If we get that action soon, then NEOG could trend back towards its 52-week high of $47.92.

Ubiquiti Networks

Ubiquiti Networks (UBNT) designs, manufactures and sells broadband wireless solutions worldwide. This stock is trading up 11.2% at $18.95 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 413,000

Average Volume: 567,323

Volume % Change: 50%.

Shares of UBNT are skyrocketing higher today after Wunderlich Securities upgraded the stock from hold to buy with a price target of $35.

From a technical perspective, UBNT is bouncing hard today off oversold levels with decent volume. This stock has been crushed in the last month, with shares dropping from a high of $35.99 to recent low of $16.99. That huge move lower has pushed UBNT into oversold territory, since its current relative strength index is 34.49. Oversold can always get more oversold, but UBNT is ripping higher here, and volume is just a big bit below its three-month average action.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades if UBNT can manage to trigger a breakout above some near-term overhead resistance at $20.87 to $20.90 with high volume. Look for a sustained move or close above those levels with volume that’s near or above 567,323 shares. If we get that action soon, look for UBNT to trade up toward $23 to $26 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 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.