Stock Quotes in this Article: COST, CPRT, EXLS, NUS, TRAK, VRSK, GEVA, GEVO

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 Earnings Stocks Poised to Pop

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.

DealerTrack

DealerTrack (TRAK) provides software solutions to automotive retail industry, including dealers, lenders, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and agents. The stock is trading up 2% at $28.63 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 2.2 million

Average Volume: 337,584

Volume % Change: 767%

Shares of TRAK are moving modestly higher on strong volume after the company announced the pricing of a private offering of $175 million of 1.5% senior convertible notes due 2017.

From a technical perspective, TRAK is starting to move above its 50-day moving average of $28.27 today on strong volume. Market players should now watch for a big breakout trade to trigger once TRAK takes out $29.35 with volume. A high-volume move above that level will put a recent gap down into play from over $31.

Traders should look for long-biased trades in TRAK if it takes out $29.35 with volume that’s near or above 337,584 shares.

ExlService

ExlService (EXLS) is a provider of outsourcing and transformation services. The stock is trading up 7% at $28.48 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 584,000

Average Volume: 150,776

Volume % Change: 419%

Shares of EXLS are surging higher today after the company beat Wall Street EPS estimates by 5 cents, beat on revenues and guided 2012 EPS estimates in-line.

From a technical perspective, EXLS is ripping higher today on heavy volume and breaking out above some past overhead resistance at $27. Market players should continue to look for long biased trades in EXLS as long as it’s trending above that key breakout level of $27.

ExlService is one of 7 Top JPMorgan Picks in IT Services.

Costco Wholesale

Costco Wholesale (COST), with its subsidiaries, operates membership warehouses that offer its members low prices on a limited selection of branded and selected private-label products in a range of merchandise categories. This stock is trading up 1% at $86.17 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 3.5 million

Average Volume: 2.3 million

Volume % Change: 90%

Shares of COST are moving slightly higher today after the company reported a fiscal second quarter profit that beat Wall Street estimates as the company’s low prices continued to attract customers and higher sales.

From a technical perspective, COST has triggered a near-term breakout trade today now that the stock has taken out some near-term overhead resistance at $86 with high-volume. At last check though, the stock has reversed notably off its daily high of $87.20.

Traders should now look for long biased trades if COST can manage to close over $86, or avoid the stock if it closes under $86 and well off the daily highs. If we get the bullish close, then look for COST to re-test its next significant overhead resistance level at $88.43 in the very near future.

Costco, one of Renaissance Technologies' holdings, also shows up in Warren Buffett's portfolio as of the most recently reported quarter.

Copart

Copart (CPRT) is a provider of online auctions and vehicle remarketing services in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. The stock is trading up 9.4% at $50.15 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 913,000

Average Volume: 262,568

Volume % Change: 397%

Shares of CPRT are soaring today after the company beat Wall Street EPS estimates by 12 cents and also beat on revenue estimates.

From a technical perspective, CPRT has started to trigger a big breakout trade today now that the stock is moving above some past overhead resistance at $49.09 on monster volume.

Traders should continue to look for long-biased trades as long as CPRT is trending above $49.09 with strong upside volume flows.

Synageva BioPharma

Synageva BioPharma (GEVA) is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company engaged in the discovery, development, and commercialization of therapeutic products for patients with life-threatening rare diseases and unmet medical needs. This stock is trading up 4.7% at $38.50 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 200,000

Average Volume: 63,416

Volume % Change: 282%

From a technical perspective, GEVA has started to flirt with a major breakout trade today now that this stock has tested some near-term overhead resistance at $39.10 on strong volume. At last check, the high of the day for GEVA is $39.33 and volume is well above its average action.

Traders should now look for long biased trades in GEVA if it can manage to sustain a high-volume move and close above $39.10. If we get that action today or soon, then look for GEVA to make a run at $45 in the near future.

Verisk Analytics

Verisk Analytics (VRSK) enables risk-bearing businesses to understand and manage their risks. This stock is trading up 4.2% at $43.97 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 1.9 million

Average Volume: 750,158

Volume % Change: 213%

Shares of VRSK are trending higher today after the company beat expectations on revenues and beat expectations on EPS.

From a technical perspective, VRSK is gapping up big today and tapping all-time highs on monster volume.

Market players should continue to look for long-biased trades in VRSK as long as the stock is trending above today’s low of $43.18 with strong upside volume. If that action persists, then look for VRSK to hit $50 in the very near future.

Verisk is also one of Warren Buffett's holdings; in the foruth quarter, Berkshire Hathaway increased its position in the stock by 64% to 3.5 million shares.

Gevo

Gevo (GEVO) is a renewable chemicals and advanced biofuels company. Gevo is focused on the development and commercialization of alternatives to petroleum-based products. This stock is trading up 15% at $10.26 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 295,000

Average Volume: 127,458

Volume % Change: 171%

From a technical perspective, GEVO briefly traded above its 200-day moving average of $10.61 today and within range of a major breakout level on high-volume.

Traders should now watch for GEVO to trigger a big breakout if it can manage to take out some overhead resistance at $11.29 with volume. Look for volume on a move over $11.29 that’s near of well above 127,458 shares. If we get that action soon, then GEVO could spike big towards $16 in the very near future.

Gevo was also featured recently in "7 Undervalued IPO Stocks That Could Rebound in 2012."

Nu Skin Enterprises

Nu Skin Enterprises (NUS) is a global direct selling company that develops and distributes personal care products and nutritional supplements that are sold worldwide under the Nu Skin and Pharmanex brands and a small number of other products and services. This stock is trading up 3.2% at $57.79 in recent trading.

Today’s Volume: 1.3 million

Average Volume: 530,798

Volume % Change: 260%

From a technical perspective, NUS is tagging new 52-week highs today on monster volume, and it’s following through on a recent breakout above $54.

Traders should continue to look for long biased trades in NUS if it can manage to close near its daily highs today. At last check, that high is $58.91. If we get a strong close, then look for this stock to make a run at $60 and higher 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.