Stock Quotes in this Article: ACHN, CBRL, EHTH, FSLR, PMFG, ROVI, VVUS, WWWW

 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.

Let's take a look at several stocks rising on unusual volume today.

Achillion Pharmaceuticals

Achillion Pharmaceuticals (ACHN) is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of treatments for infectious diseases. The stock is trading up 23.4% at $10.80 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 5 million

Average Volume: 1.4 million

Volume % Change: 401%

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Shares of ACHN are soaring today after Gilead Sciences (GILD) reported disappointing trial results for its experimental hepatitis C drug. Shares of ACHN, along with Vertex Pharmaceutical (VRTX) and Idenix Pharmaceutical (IDIX), are ripping higher because they are rival hepatitis C drug developers to Gilead.

From a technical perspective, ACHN is gapping up huge today on monster volume back above its 50-day moving average of $9.34.

Traders should now watch for a sustained high-volume move and close near its daily high of $11.14 to signal that ACHN wants to trend much higher. At last check, the stock is trading at $10.80 and volume is well above its average of 1.4 million shares. If we get that strong close today, then traders should continue to look for long biased trades that take this stock back towards its next major overhead resistance levels at $12.46 to $12.95 in the near future.

Vivus

Vivus (VVUS) is engaged in development and commercialization of therapeutic drugs for large underserved markets, including obesity and related morbidities, such as sleep apnea and diabetes and men's sexual health. The stock is trading up 2.9% at $11.51 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 7.4 million

Average Volume: 2.1 million

Volume % Change: 430%

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From a technical perspective, VVUS spiked down huge yesterday from around $13 to a low of $10.12 on huge volume. That massive selloff basically filled a gap higher from last month. The stock has now regained its 50-day moving average today of $11.22 on big volume.

Traders should now look to play the next major breakout for VVUS that will trigger once it takes out $13.18 to $13.68 with volume. Look for long biased trades in VVUS on a move over $13.18 to $13.68 where volume is near or well above 2.1 million shares.

PMFG

PMFG (PMFG) is a provider of custom-engineered systems and products designed to help ensure that the delivery of energy is safe, efficient and clean. PMFG serves the markets for power generation, natural gas infrastructure, refining and petrochemical processing. The stock is trading up 2.77% at $17.05 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 310,000

Average Volume: 109,348

Volume % Change: 358%

From a technical perspective, PMFG is bouncing modestly today on decent volume following a huge gap down in price from yesterday. That gap down took the stock from around $21 to near $16 on monster volume. Before that gap down, this stock plunged from even higher prices, falling from $27 to $21. PMFG has now reached oversold territory since its current relative strength index (RSI) reading is 30.19.

Traders should now look for short-term long-biased trades in PMFG if it can manage to break out above its gap down day high near $18 on big volume. Look for volume that’s near or well above 109,348 shares on a move over $18.

First Solar

First Solar (FSLR) manufactures and sells solar modules with an advanced thin-film semiconductor technology. This stock is trading up 6.6% at $42.36 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 7.1 million

Average Volume: 4.4 million

Volume % Change: 156%

From a technical perspective, FSLR is gapping up strong today with big volume right off its 50-day moving average of $39.44.

Traders should now watch for FSLR to close near its daily highs to signal that the stock wants to trend much higher. At last check, the stock has hit a daily high of $45.20, and its currently trading at around $43.60, which is well of that high. If we get a stronger close, then look for FSLR to re-test its next significant overhead resistance level of $50.20.

First Solar shows up on an end-of-year list of 19 S&P 500 Laggards That Could Be Leaders in 2012 and as of the end of January was one of the 10 Best-Performing S&P 500 Stocks so Far in 2012.

Web.com

Web.com (WWWW) is a provider of Internet services and online marketing solutions that enable small businesses to build and maintain an effective online presence. This stock is trading up 7.72% at $14.38 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 654,000

Average Volume: 250,558

Volume % Change: 349%

Shares of WWWW are ripping higher today after the company swung to a fourth-quarter profit as revenue nearly doubled and as a tax benefit boosted results.

From a technical perspective, WWWW is gapping higher today on big volume and breaking out above some past overhead resistance at $12.85 to $13.71.

Traders should continue to look for long-biased trades in WWWW as long as it can manage to close above those breakout levels at $12.85 to $13.71 and not far off its daily high of $14.90. If we get that action, look for WWWW to re-test its next significant overhead resistance level at $16.01 in the very near future.

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store (CBRL) is principally engaged in the operation and development of the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store concept (Cracker Barrel). This stock is trading up 2.2% at $55.40 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 354,000

Average Volume: 217,597

Volume % Change: 187%

From a technical perspective, CBRL is starting to trigger a solid breakout trade today now that this stock is moving above some near-term overhead resistance at $54.95 on heavy volume.

Traders should now watch for CBRL to re-test its next significant overhead resistance levels at $56 to $56.41, in the very near future. I would continue to look for long biased trades in CBRL as long as the stock closes strong and well above $54.95.

Rovi

Rovi (ROVI) is focused on powering the discovery and enjoyment of digital entertainment by providing a set of integrated solutions that are embedded in its customers’ products and services and used by end consumers to simplify and guide their interaction with digital entertainment. This stock is trading up 4.19% at $35.80 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 3.1 million

Average Volume: 1.8 million

Volume % Change: 217%

Shares of ROVI are advancing nicely to the upside today after the company reported a loss in the fourth quarter driven by higher costs.

From a technical perspective, ROVI has started to trigger a breakout trade today since the stock has started to move above some near-term overhead resistance at $35 on monster volume. This move now pushed ROVI back into a gap down area from last November.

Traders should continue to look for long-biased trades in ROVI as long as the stock can close above $35, and not too far off its daily high of $37.75. Look for ROVI to trend back towards its 200-day average of $43.04 in the near future, if we get a strong close today.

Rovi, which shows up on a list of 13 Tech Stocks to Buy in 2012, was also featured recently in "5 Eurozone Technical Setups for Breakout Gains."

eHealth

eHealth (EHTH) offers Internet-based health insurance agency services for individuals, families and small businesses in the United States, as well as technology licensing and Internet advertising services. This stock is trading up 5.8% at $17.02 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 137,000

Average Volume: 108,085

Volume % Change: 110%

Shares of EHTH are soaring today after the company reported fourth-quarter EPS of 18 cents per shares, which was 6 cents better than the analyst estimates of 12 cents per share. Revenue for the quarter came in at $43.1 million versus the consensus of $39.04.

From a technical perspective, EHTH is gapping up strong today with volume and breaking out above some near-term overhead resistance at $16.50.

Market players should now look for a sustained high-volume move and close above $16.50 to signal that this stock wants to trend much higher. It looks like we’re going to get that action today, so look for EHTH to close near its daily highs. The next significant overhead resistance level for EHTH is $18.98.

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.