Stock Quotes in this Article: BANR, EFII, FIO, FUN, INFI, THOR, VVUS, SRPT

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.

>>5 Dividend Stocks Itching to Pay You More

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.

>>5 Breakout Stock Plays: Must-See Charts

Sarepta Therapeutics (SPRT)

This company is focused on developing RNA-based therapeutics to improve and save the lives of people affected by serious and life-threatening rare and infectious diseases. This stock is trading up 7.4% at $28.98 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 2.44 million

Average Volume: 2.57 million

Volume % Change: 53%

Shares of SRPT are ripping higher today after Piper Jaffray said the stock has the potential to be a $160 stock with a $4 billion market cap, but its nearer-term range could be $60 to $80.

From a technical perspective, SRPT is bouncing up here with decent volume and the stock is challenging some near-term breakout levels at $27.94 to $29.19. At last check, shares of SRPT have hit an intraday high of $29.48 and volume is just a bit under its three-month average action of 2.57 million shares.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in SRPT as long as it's trending above its recent breakout level of $27.94 with strong upside volume flows. I would consider any upside volume day that registers near or above its three-month average volume of 2.57 million as bullish. If SRPT can maintain that trend, and especially hold a trend above its next breakout levels at $29.19 to $29.48, then this stock will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $32.50 to $35.

VIVUS (VVUS)

This is a biopharmaceutical company engaged in the development and commercialization of therapeutic products for large underserved markets. This stock is trading up 13.7% at $11.77 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 13.18 million

Average Volume: 3.69 million

Volume % Change: 433%

Shares of VVUS are soaring higher today after health insurer Aetna revised its weight-loss-treatment policy to include its obesity drug Qsymia.

From a technical perspective, VVUS is bouncing hard to the upside here right around some near-term support at $10 with monster upside volume. This stock has been downtrending for the last month and change, with shares falling from $23.59 to its recent low of $9.86 with heavy volume. During that slide lower, shares of VVUS have been making lower highs and lower lows, which is bearish technical price action. That said, shares of VVUS have now started to flirt with a near-term breakout trade above some overhead resistance at $11.58. At last check, VVUS has hit an intraday high of $12.59 and volume is well above its three-month average volume of 3.69 million shares.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in VVUS as long as it's trending near or above that key breakout level of $11.58 with strong upside volume flows. I would consider any upside volume day that registers near or above 3.69 million shares as bullish. If VVUS can maintain that trend, then this stock will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at just below $16 or its 50-day moving average of $17.78.

Banner (BANR)

This is a bank holding company is primarily engaged in the business of planning, directing and coordinating the business activities of two wholly owned subsidiaries, Banner Bank and Islanders Bank. This stock is trading up 1.5% at $29.94 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 554,000

Average Volume: 147,232

Volume % Change: 466%

From a technical perspective, BANR is bouncing modestly higher here with above-average volume. This stock has been uptrending strongly for the last six months, with shares soaring from a low of $18.05 to a recent high of $30.77. During that uptrend, shares of BANR have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now pushed BANR into breakout territory today, since the stock has started to flirt with some near-term overhead resistance at $30.05. At last check, BANR has hit an intraday high of $30.77 and volume is well above its three-month average action of 147,232 shares.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in BANR as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $27.45, and then once it sustains a move or close above $30.05 to $30.77 with volume that hits near or above 147,232 shares. If we get that action, then BANR will set up to trend well north of $30 a share in the near future.

Electronics for Imaging (EFII)

This company deals in color digital print controllers, super-wide format printers and inks and print management solutions. This stock is trading up 4.8% at $17.53 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 683,000

Average Volume: 243,659

Volume % Change: 364%

From a technical perspective, EFII is gapping higher here back above its 50-day moving average of $16.92 with above-average volume. This move is quickly pushing EFII within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit once EFII manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance at $18.17 with high volume

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in EFII as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $16.92, and then once it sustains a move or close above $18.17 with volume that hits near or above 243,659 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then EFII will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $18.99 to $19.17. Keep in mind that any move above $19.17 will then push EFII into three-year high territory, which is bullish technical price action.

Thoratec (THOR)

This company develops, manufactures and markets proprietary medical devices used for circulatory support. This stock is trading up 6.9% at $37.44 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 684,000

Average Volume: 440,005

Volume % Change: 125%

Shares of THOR are spiking higher today after Wells Fargo upgraded the stock to outperform from market perform, as it expects the company to benefit from reduced demand for HeartWare's (HTWR) solution. The firm said that THOR is likely to beat 2013 revenue expectations.

From a technical perspective, THOR is ripping higher here with above-average volume. This move is quickly pushing THOR within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit once THOR manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance at $38.12 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in THOR as long as it's trending above its 50-day moving average of $34.98, and then once it sustains a move or close above $38.12 with volume that hits near or above 440,005 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then THOR will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $40.65 to $46.

Cedar Fair (FUN)

This company is a regional amusement park operator, which owns eleven amusement parks, six outdoor water parks, one indoor water park and five hotels. This stock is trading up 2.5% at $35.54 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 500,000

Average Volume: 232,406

Volume % Change: 164%

From a technical perspective, FUN is bouncing modestly higher here back above its 50-day moving average of $34.56 with above-average volume. This stock has been uptrending strongly for the last six months, with shares moving from $24.69 to $37.69. During that uptrend, shares of FUN have been mostly making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That action has now pushed FUN within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit once FUN takes out some near-term overhead resistance at $37.69 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in FUN as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $34.56, and then once it sustains a move or close above $37.69 with volume that hits near or above 232,406 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then FUN will set up to enter new 52-week high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets are $40 to $45 in the near future off that breakout.

Fusion-IO (FIO)

This company provides a combination of hardware and software that places data closer to processing. This stock is trading up 5.3% at $24.24 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 3.33 million

Average Volume: 2.54 million

Volume % Change: 87%

Shares of FIO are trending higher today after rumors made the rounds that IBM is close to making a $3.4 billion offer for the company. There is also some talk today that SAP is interested in making a competing/higher offer for FIO.

From a technical perspective, FIO is bouncing modestly higher here right below its 200-day moving average of $25.08 with heavy volume. This move is coming after FIO has been downtrending badly for the last two months, with shares falling from a high of $32.63 to a recent low of $21.14. During that downtrend, shares of FIO have been consistently making lower highs and lower lows, which is bearish technical price action. That said, FIO has now started to bounce off that recent low and move within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit once FIO manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $25.08 to $25.28 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in FIO once it manages to sustain a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 2.54 million shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then FIO will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at its 50-day at $27.35 or just under $29.

Infinity Pharmaceuticals (INFI)

This company discovers, develops, and delivers medicines for the treatment of cancer and related conditions. This stock is trading up 10.7% at $25.96 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 703,000

Average Volume: 400,787

Volume % Change: 135%

Shares of INFI are soaring higher today after RBC Capital initiated the stock with an outperform rating.

From a technical perspective, INFI is ripping higher here just above its 50-day moving average of $22.85 with above-average volume. This move is quickly pushing INFI within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit once INFI manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance at $27.28 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in INFI as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $22.85, and then once it sustains a move or close above $27.28 with volume that hits near or above 400,787 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then INFI will set up to enter new 52-week high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets are $30 to $35 if that breakout triggers soon with volume.

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 Big Stocks to Trade for Gains This Week

>>5 Stocks With Large Insider Buying

>>Profit From 5 Stocks Everyone Hates

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 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.