By Roberto PedoneA number of stocks that trade on the Nasdaq stock exchange have been catching fire over the past few trading sessions. This trend could be only beginning as the markets continue to improve and as companies meet or beat lowered earnings expectations. Just take a look at the 277% advance made by Human Genome Sciences ( HGSI) earlier this week. The stock broke out above $3.50 a share on huge volume after the company announced that Benlysta, the systemic lupus erythematsus drug the company is developing with GlaxoSmithKline ( GSK), showed some positive clinical results. The results showed that patients who took the drug achieved a statistically significant improvement in the symptoms of their disease compared with those who just took a placebo. Shares of Human Genome are now changing hands at around $14 a share. Anyone who owned the stock prior to this week has seen their investment triple in value, and if you owned call options, you really cashed in. Another solid advance is taking place in Starbucks ( SBUX). On Tuesday night, the company report a better-than-expected profit for its fiscal third quarter due to improved store traffic and successful cost cutting measures. The company said that it achieved $175 million in cost savings for the third quarter, which was $25 million more than expected. For the fourth quarter, it said it plans to save $180 million, and for the full year, the company thinks it can hit its target of $550 million in cost savings. Recently, shares of Starbucks were up by more than 17% in intraday trading on almost four times the average daily volume.
Positive results for a breast cancer drug helped to push shares of Onyx ( ONXX) up by more than 30% on Wednesday. The company said its cancer drug Nexavar showed positive survival data in a mid-stage study of women with advanced breast cancer. The stock gapped up on the news but has now started to sell off after hitting some previous resistance at around $37 a share. Most of these stocks gave investors clear signals that big gains were in the future. Whether their shares were approaching breakout levels like Starbucks or were experiencing unusual trading patterns in their stocks and options, these names did flash early warning signs that big gains could be in the cards in the near future. For example, shares of Human Genome saw a spike in volume for two trading sessions prior to the massive rise in the stock. With that in mind, let's take a look at a few interesting stocks that trade on the Nasdaq stock exchange. To read more, visit Stockpickr.com.