DELAFIELD, Wis. (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.

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 recently.

BBVA Banco Frances

  • Monday's Volume: 204,000
  • Three-Month Average Volume: 172,903
  • Volume % Change: 139%

BBVA Banco Frances (BFR) , together with its subsidiaries, provides various financial services to corporations, medium and small companies and individual customers in Spain, Mexico, South America, the U.S. and Eurasia. This stock is trading up 6.3% to $17.86 in Monday's trading session.

From a technical perspective, BBVA Banco Frances is ripping sharply higher here right off its 50-day moving average of $16.39 and back above its 200-day moving average of $17.11 with strong upside volume flows. This big spike to the upside on Monday is now quickly pushing shares of BBVA Banco Frances within range of triggering a big breakout trade above some key overhead resistance levels. That trade will trigger if this stock manages to take out some key overhead resistance levels at $18 to $18.50 and then above more resistance at $18.68 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in BBVA Banco Frances as long as it's trending above its 200-day at $17.11 or its 50-day at $16.39 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 172,903 shares. If that breakout gets started soon, then this stock will set up to re-test or possibly take out its net major overhead resistance levels at $22 to its 52-week high of $24.74 a share. 

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals

  • Monday's Volume: 621,000
  • Three-Month Average Volume: 867,780
  • Volume % Change: 50%

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN) - Get Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Report , a biopharmaceutical company, discovers, invents, develops, manufactures and commercializes medicines for the treatment of serious medical conditions worldwide. This stock is trading up 4.7% to $527.97 in Monday's trading session.

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From a technical perspective, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals is ripping sharply higher here right above its 20-day moving average of $502.87 with decent upside volume flows. This strong move to the upside on Monday is now quickly pushing shares of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade above some key overhead resistance levels. That trade will trigger if this stock manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at its 50-day moving average of $528.61 to around $545 a share with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in Regeneron Pharmaceuticals as long as it's trending above Monday's intraday low of $514.27 or above its 20-day moving average of $502.87 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 867,780 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then this stock will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $557.87 to around $580 a share.

INTL FCStone

  • Monday's Volume: 107,000
  • Three-Month Average Volume: 108,942
  • Volume % Change: 83%

INTL FCStone (INTL) - Get INTL FCStone Inc. Report , together with its subsidiaries, operates as a financial services company worldwide. This stock is trading up 4.1% to $29.17 in Monday's trading session.

From a technical perspective, INTL FCStone is ripping notably higher here back above its 200-day moving average of $28.65 with decent upside volume flows. This stock recently gapped up sharply higher from over $25 to almost $29 with strong upside volume flows. Following that move, shares of INTL FCStone have now started to trend to the upside again and it's quickly moving within range of triggering a big breakout trade. That trade will trigger if shares of INTL FCStone manage to take out some key overhead resistance levels at $29.43 to around $30 a share with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in INTL FCStone as long as it's trending above some near-term support at $29 or at around $27 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 108,942 shares. If that breakout gets started soon, then this stock will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $32 to $34, or even $35 a share.

Amgen

  • Monday's Volume: 2.10 million
  • Three-Month Average Volume: 4.17 million
  • Volume % Change: 50%

Amgen (AMGN) - Get Amgen Inc. Report , a biotechnology company, discovers, develops, manufactures and delivers human therapeutics worldwide. This stock is trading up 1.9% to $152.45 in Monday's trading session.

From a technical perspective, Amgen is trending modestly higher here and flirting with its 50-day moving average of $153.98 with decent upside volume flows. This stock has been uptrending strong over the last few weeks, with shares moving higher from its low of $130.09 to its intraday high on Monday of $155.02 a share. During that uptrend, shares of Amgen have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now pushed this stock within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will trigger if this stock manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at its 200-day moving average of $156.94 to more resistance at $158 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in Amgen as long as it's trending above some near-term support at $150 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 4.17 million shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then this stock will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $165 to $170 a share.

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