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.


YY

YY data by YCharts

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YY (YY) - Get Report , through its subsidiaries, operates an online social platform in the People's Republic of China. This stock traded up 2.1% to $60.58 in Monday's trading session.

  • Monday's Volume: 2.41 million
  • Three-Month Average Volume: 596,910
  • Volume % Change: 313%

From a technical perspective, YY ripped sharply higher on Monday right off its 20-day moving average of $58.65 and back above its 200-day moving average of $60.28 with heavy upside volume flows. This high-volume move to the upside is now quickly pushing shares of YY Inc. within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will trigger if this stock manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance at $60.70 a share with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in YY as long as it's trending above its 20-day moving average of $58.65 a share and then once it sustains a move or close above $60.70 a share with volume that hits near or above 596,910 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 $62.91 to $62.94, or even $64 a share. Any high-volume move above $64 will then give this stock a chance to re-fill some of its previous gap-down-day zone from July that started near $68 a share.

PdvWireless

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PdvWireless (PDVW)  develops and sells wireless communications applications. This stock traded up 3.2% to $26.45 in Monday's trading session.

  • Monday's Volume: 279,000
  • Three-Month Average Volume: 56,464
  • Volume % Change: 265%

From a technical perspective, PdvWireless trended notably higher on Monday back above its 20-day moving average of $25.83 a share with strong upside volume flows. This stock has been uptrending over the last few weeks, with shares moving higher from its low of $22.27 to its intraday high on Monday of $26.50 a share. During that uptrend, shares of PdvWireless have been making mostly higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. Market players should now look for a continuation move to the upside in the short-term if this stock manages to take out Monday's intraday high of $26.50 with strong upside volume flows.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in PdvWireless as long as it's trending above some key near-term support at $24 a share and then once it sustains a move or close above Monday's intraday high of $26.50 a share with volume that hits near or above 56,464 shares. If that move gets underway soon, then this stock will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at its 50-day moving average of $28.18 to $29.70, or even $31.83 a share.

Taro Pharmaceutical Industries

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Taro Pharmaceutical Industries (TARO) - Get Report , a science-based pharmaceutical company, engages in the development, manufacture and marketing of pharmaceutical products in the U.S., Canada, Israel and internationally. This stock traded up 3.8% to $144.83 in Monday's trading session.

  • Monday's Volume: 815,000
  • Three-Month Average Volume: 107,517
  • Volume % Change: 794%

From a technical perspective, Taro Pharmaceutical Industries ripped notably higher right off some near-term support at $138 and back above both its 200-day moving average of $143.04 and its 50-day moving average of $144 a share with heavy upside volume flows. This stock has been uptrending a bit over the last few weeks, with shares moving higher from its low of $133.69 to its intraday high on Monday of $145.24 a share. During that uptrend, shares of Taro Pharmaceutical Industries have been making mostly higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. Market players should now look for a continuation move to the upside in the short-term if this stock takes out Monday's intraday high of $145.24 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in Taro Pharmaceutical Industries as long as it's trending above its 200-day moving average of $143.04 a share and then once it sustains a move or close above $145.24 a share with volume that hits near or above 107,517 shares. If that move gets underway soon, then this stock will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $148 to $149.64, or even $150.71 to $154 a share.

United Fire Group

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United Fire Group (UFCS) - Get Report , together with its subsidiaries, provides insurance protection for individuals and businesses in the U.S. This stock traded up 1.3% to $40.03 in Monday's trading session.

  • Monday's Volume: 209,000
  • Three-Month Average Volume: 60,519
  • Volume % Change: 245%

From a technical perspective United Fire Group spiked modestly higher on Monday right above its 20-day moving average of $38.98 a share with above-average volume. This stock has been uptrending strong over the last four months, with shares moving higher from its low of $32.10 to its recent high of $40.41 a share. During that uptrend, shares of United Fire Group have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. This move has now pushed this stock within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if this stock manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $40.17 to $40.41 and then above its 52-week high of $40.64 a share with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in United Fire Group as long as it's trending above its 20-day moving average of $38.98 a share and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that registers near or above 60,519 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 $45 to $50 a share.

Melco Crown Entertainment

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Melco Crown Entertainment (MPEL) , through its subsidiaries, develops, owns and operates casino gaming and entertainment resort facilities in Asia. This stock traded up 3.1% to $16.25 in Monday's trading session.

  • Monday's Volume: 14.49 million
  • Three-Month Average Volume: 3.78 million
  • Volume % Change: 275%

From a technical perspective, Melco Crown Entertainment spiked notably higher on Monday right off some near-term support at $15.51 a share with heavy upside volume flows. This stock has been downtrending badly over the last few weeks, with shares falling off its high of $20.21 to its recent low of $15.51 a share. During that downtrend, shares of Melco Crown Entertainment have been consistently making lower highs and lower lows, which is bearish technical price action. That said, this stock is now starting to spike to the upside with big volume off its recent low of $15.51 and that spike is quickly pushing this stock within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will trigger if this stock manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $17 a share and then above both its 50-day moving average of $17.10 and its 20-day moving average of $17.41 a share with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in Melco Crown Entertainment as long as it's trending above its recent low of $15.51 a share and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that registers near or above 3.78 million shares. If that breakout develops soon, then this stock will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $18 to $19, or even $20 a share.

Alibaba Group

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Alibaba Group (BABA) - Get Report , through its subsidiaries, operates as an online and mobile commerce company in the People's Republic of China and internationally. This stock traded up 3.3% to $84.08 in Monday's trading session.

  • Monday's Volume: 97.91 million
  • Three-Month Average Volume: 20.53 million
  • Volume % Change: 426%

From a technical perspective, Alibaba Group ripped sharply higher on Monday right off its 20-day moving average of $81.04 with monster upside volume flows. This stock has been uptrending over the last few weeks, with shares moving higher from its low of $75.64 to its intraday high on Monday of $84.47 a share. During that uptrend, shares of Alibaba Group have been making mostly higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. This high-volume move to the upside is now quickly pushing this stock within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will trigger if this stock manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at Monday's intraday high of $84.47 to some more key resistance at $86.42 a share with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in Alibaba Group as long as it's trending above its 20-day moving average of $81.04 a share and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 20.53 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 $90 to $95 a share.

VTTI Energy Partners

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VTTI Energy Partners (VTTI)  acquires, develops, owns and operates refined petroleum product and crude oil terminaling and related energy infrastructure assets. This stock traded up 8.4% to $21.01 in Monday's trading session.

  • Monday's Volume: 289,000
  • Three-Month Average Volume: 66,149
  • Volume % Change: 265%

From a technical perspective, VTTI Energy Partners ripped sharply higher on Monday back above its 50-day moving average of $19.78 a share with strong upside volume flows. This high-volume move to the upside pushed shares of VTTI Energy Partners into breakout territory, since this stock took out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $20.10 to $20.50 and over $20.88 a share. Shares of VTTI Energy Partners are now quickly moving within range of triggering another big breakout trade. That trade will trigger if this stock manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $21.15 to $21.18 and then above $21.45 a share with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in VTTI Energy Partners as long as its trending above $20.50 or above $20 a share and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 66,149 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 $22 to $22.14, or even $22.60 to $24 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.