Professional traders running mutual funds and hedge funds don't just look at a stock's price moves, they track big changes in volume activity. Often, when above-average volume moves into a stock, 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." These types of traders like to get in well before a bigger trend, so it's always a smart move to monitor unusual volume activity.

With that in mind, let's take a look at several stocks that are experiencing unusual volume activity.

Blueprint Medicines

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  • Thursday's Volume: 895,000
  • Three-Month Average Volume: 338,822
  • Volume % Change: 179%

From a technical perspective, Blueprint Medicines(BPMC) - Get Report ripped up off some previous support at $32.55 and back above its 20-day at $35.01 with strong upside volume. This high-volume jump is now quickly pushing shares of Blueprint Medicines within range of triggering a major breakout trade.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in Blueprint Medicines as long as it's trending above Thursday's intraday low of $32.43 and then once it sustains a move or close above resistance at $37.55 to its all-time high of $38.33 with volume that hits near or above 338,822 shares. If that breakout fires off soon, then this stock will set up to enter new all-time-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $45 to $50 a share.

Hartford Financial Services Group

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  • Thursday's Volume: 8.60 million
  • Three-Month Average Volume: 2.60 million
  • Volume % Change: 232%

From a technical perspective, Hartford Financial Services Group(HIG) - Get Report spiked up off its 50-day at $48.18 and back above its 20-day at $48.52 with strong upside volume. This high-volume bump is now quickly pushing shares of Hartford Financial Services Group within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade.

Traders should look for long-biased trades in Hartford Financial Services Group as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $48.18 and then once it breaks out above its 52-week high of $50.13 with volume that hits near or above 2.60 million shares. If that breakout hits soon, then this stock will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $55 to $60 a share.

Alarm.com

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  • Thursday's Volume: 639,000
  • Three-Month Average Volume: 186,113
  • Volume % Change: 259%

From a technical perspective, Alarm.com(ALRM) - Get Report spiked sharply higher on Thursday into breakout territory above some near-term overhead resistance at $29.75 to $29.76 with strong volume. Market players should now look for a continuation move higher in the short-term if this uptrend remains in progress.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in Alarm.com as long as it's trending above those previous breakout levels and then once it sustains a move or close above Thursday's intraday high of $31.72 with volume that hits near or above 186,113 shares. If that move gets underway soon, then this stock will set up to re-test or possibly take out its 52-week high of $34.43 a share.

National Beverage

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  • Thursday's Volume: 1.12 million
  • Three-Month Average Volume: 223,467
  • Volume % Change: 426%

From a technical perspective, National Beverage(FIZZ) - Get Report exploded higher on Thursday and broke out into new 52-week-high territory with heavy upside volume flows. Market players should now look for a continuation move higher in the short-term if this breakout remains intact.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in National Beverage as long as it's trending above its previous breakout level at $62.91 or above $60 and then once it sustains a move or close above its new 52-week high of $67.25 with volume that hits near or above 223,467 shares. If that move gets started soon, then this stock will enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that move are $70 to $75, or even $80 a share.

Axalta Coating Systems

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  • Thursday's Volume: 6.47 million
  • Three-Month Average Volume: 1.97 million
  • Volume % Change: 214%

From a technical perspective, Axalta Coating Systems(AXTA) - Get Report ripped up on Thursday and broke out into new 52-week-high territory above resistance at $30.21 to $30.46 with heavy volume. Market players should now look for a continuation move higher in the short-term if this stock stays inside of its current uptrend.

Traders should look for long-biased trades in Axalta Coating Systems as long as it's trending above its 20-day at $29.57 or above its 50-day at $28.89 and then once it sustains a move or close above its new 52-week high of $30.96 with volume that hits near or above 1.97 million shares. If that move gets underway soon, then this stock could easily tag its next major resistance levels at $33.20 to $35 a share.

TerraForm Power

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  • Thursday's Volume: 1.93 million
  • Three-Month Average Volume: 771,290
  • Volume % Change: 168%

From a technical perspective, TerraForm Power(TERP) - Get Report ripped up right above its 200-day at $12.01 with strong upside volume flows. This high-volume jump to the upside is quickly pushing this stock within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade.

Traders should look for long-biased trades in TerraForm Power as long as it's trending above its 200-day at $12.01 or above its 20-day at $11.67 and then once it sustains a move or close above some near-term resistance levels at $12.64 to $13 with volume near or above 771,290 shares. If that breakout fires off soon, then this stock will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $13.55 to $14, or even $14.50 a share.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.