Stock Quotes in this Article: CKEC, CRESY, FIRE, FSYS, MAPP, SAIA, TSPT, IQNT

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.

Transcept Pharmaceuticals

Transcept Pharmaceuticals (TSPT) is a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of products that address therapeutic needs in neuroscience. This stock is trading up 8.6% at $9.99 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 365,000

Average Volume: 122,657

Volume % Change: 768%

From a technical perspective, TSPT has started to trigger a breakout trade today now that the stock is moving above some past overhead resistance at $9.37 with heavy volume.

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Traders should continue to look for long-biased trades as long as TSPT is trending above $9.37. Look for a sustained high-volume move and close over $9.37 and near its daily highs to signal that TSPT wants to trend higher.

If we get that action today, then look for TSPT to re-test its next significant overhead resistance levels at $11.40 to $11.88 in the near future.

Neutral Tandem

Neutral Tandem (IQNT) provides voice, Internet protocol transit, and Ethernet telecommunications services primarily on a wholesale basis. The stock is trading up 5.1% at $11.23 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 128,000

Average Volume: 143,275

Volume % Change: 96%

From a technical perspective, IQNT is bouncing strong today right round some previous support at $10.25 with decent volume.

Traders should now look for long biased trades once IQNT moves back above its 50-day of $11.76 and its 200-day of $12.13 with strong volume. Look for volume on a move and close above those levels that’s near or well above 143,275 shares.

Cresud

Cresud (CRESY) is an Argentina-based company engaged in production of basic agricultural commodities and also involved in development and sale of properties. The stock is trading up 10.8% at $12.99 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 375,000

Average Volume: 150,031

Volume % Change: 405%

From a technical perspective, CRESY is gapping higher today back above both its 50-day and 200-day moving averages with high-volume. This move has now pushed CRESY within range of triggering a big breakout trade. That breakout trade will hit once CRESY takes out some near-term overhead resistance at $13.57 to $13.65 with volume.

Look for volume on that move that’s near or well above 150,031 shares. If we get that action soon, then look for CRESY to challenge $14.50 to $16 in the near future.

Cresud is one of Mohnish Pabrai's holdings, as of the most recently reported period.

Saia

Saia (SAIA) is an asset-based trucking company that provides a variety of transportation and supply chain solutions to a range of industries, including the retail, chemical and manufacturing industries. The stock is trading up 4.5% at $17.58 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 140,000

Average Volume: 62,961

Volume % Change: 358%

From a technical perspective, SAIA has started to trigger a big breakout trade today now that this stock is moving above some past overhead resistance at $17 with high volume.

Market players should continue to look for long biased trades in SAIA as long as this stock manages to close above $17 and near its daily highs. If this stock can continue to trend above $17 with strong upside volume flows, then it should challenge its 52-week high of $18.36 very soon. Any future high-volume breakout over $18.36 should lead to much higher prices for SAIA.

MAP Pharmaceuticals

MAP Pharmaceuticals (MAPP) focuses on the development and commercialization of drugs in the field of neurology using its inhalation technologies. This stock is trading up 6.2% at $15.40 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 505,000

Average Volume: 192,397

Volume % Change: 409%

From a technical perspective, MAPP is rebounding sharply higher today following the stock’s recent selloff from $17.50 to a low of around $14.50. Shares of MAPP are just starting to move back above its 50-day moving average today of $15.35 with monster volume.

Traders should continue to look for long biased trades as long as MAPP is trending above its 50-day with strong upside volume flows.

Fuel Systems Solutions

Fuel Systems Solutions (FSYS) designs, manufactures and supplies alternative fuel components and systems for use in the transportation and industrial markets. This stock is trading up 7.7% at $27.84 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 485,000

Average Volume: 377,485

Volume % Change: 101%

From a technical perspective, FSYS is spiking sharply higher today on heavy volume. This move is quickly pushing FSYS within range of triggering a major breakout. That breakout will hit once FSYS can take out some near-term overhead resistance at $28.11 to $29.41 with strong volume. A sustained high-volume move and close above those levels should set this stock up for more upside.

Look for volume that’s near or well above 377,485 shares. Traders should continue to look for long biased trades in FSYS in anticipation of that breakout, and get even more bullish on a high-volume move above its next major overhead resistance level at $30.60.

Fuel Systems shows up on a recent list of 10 Small-Cap Stocks Poised to Rise.

Sourcefire

Sourcefire (FIRE) provides intelligent Cybersecurity technologies to commercial enterprises and government agencies worldwide. This stock is trading up 5.6% at $49.78 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 471,000

Average Volume: 606,831

Volume % Change: 53%

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From a technical perspective, FIRE has started to trigger a big breakout trade today now that this stock is moving above some near-term overhead resistance at $48.37 with decent volume.

Traders should continue to look for long-biased trades in FIRE as long as this stock is trending above $48.37 with strong upside volume flows. Look for a sustained high-volume move and close above $48.27 and near its daily highs to signal that FIRE has more upside ahead. Keep in mind that FIRE hit a new 52-week high toady of $50.08.

Carmike Cinemas

Carmike Cinemas (CKEC) is a motion picture exhibitor in the U.S. This stock is trading up 3.4% at $11.80 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 146,000

Average Volume: 57,844

Volume % Change: 163%

From a technical perspective, CKEC has started to flirt with a big breakout trade today since the stock is challenging some near-term overhead resistance at $11.82 with strong volume. At last check, the stock high a daily high of $11.98 and volume is twice the daily average.

Traders should now watch for a sustained high-volume move and close today above $11.82 to signal that this stock wants to trend higher. If we get that action today, then look for CKEC to make a run at $13 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.