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.

Medivation

Medivation (MDVN) , a biopharmaceutical company, focuses on the development and commercialization of novel therapies to treat serious diseases in the U.S. This stock closed up 1.5% at $100.35 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 3.40 million
Three-Month Average Volume: 1.10 million
Volume % Change: 184%

From a technical perspective, MDVN spiked modestly higher here right above some near-term support at $95.01 with strong upside volume flows. This stock has been uptrending strong for the last six months, with shares moving higher from its low of $54.37 to its recent high of $103.88. During that uptrend, shares of MDVN have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. This move to the upside on Wednesday is starting to push shares of MDVN within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if MDVN manages to take out Wednesday's intraday high of $100.82 to its 52-week high of $103.88 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in MDVN as long as it's trending above some near-term support at $95.01 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 1.10 million shares. If that breakout develops soon, then MDVN will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $110 to $115.

Adamas Pharmaceuticals

Adamas Pharmaceuticals (ADMS - Get Report) , specialty pharmaceutical company, focuses on the development and commercialization of therapeutics targeting chronic disorders of the central nervous systems in the U.S. This stock closed up 7.3% to $19.98 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 82,000
Three-Month Average Volume: 48,070
Volume % Change: 85%

From a technical perspective, ADMS soared sharply higher here right above its 50-day moving average of $17.29 with above-average volume. This solid spike to the upside on Wednesday also pushed shares of ADMS into breakout territory, since this stock took out some key overhead resistance levels at $18.49 to $18.75 and also $19.10. Shares of ADMS are now starting to move within range of triggering another major breakout trade. That trade will hit if ADMS manages to take out some key past resistance levels at $21 to its all-time high at $21.63 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in ADMS as long as it's trending above Wednesday's intraday low of $18.40 or above its 50-day at $17.29 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 48,070 shares. If that breakout kicks off soon, then ADMS will set up to enter new all-time-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout $25 to $30.

Targa Resources

Targa Resources (TRGP - Get Report) , through its general and limited partner interests in Targa Resources Partners LP, provides midstream natural gas and natural gas liquid services in the U.S. This stock closed up 0.68% at $137.10 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 440,000
Three-Month Average Volume: 273,905
Volume % Change: 64%

From a technical perspective, TRGP bounced modestly higher here right above some near-term support at $134.15 and back above its 50-day moving average of $136.75 with above-average volume. This small move to the upside on Wednesday is starting to push shares of TRGP within range of triggering a big breakout trade. That trade will hit if TRGP manages to take out some key near-term overhead resistance levels at $140 to $143.46 and then once it clears some past overhead resistance at $144.26 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in TRGP as long as it's trending above some near-term support at $134.15 or above $130 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that this near or above 273,905 shares. If that breakout materializes soon, then TRGP will set up to re-test or possibly take out its 52-week high at $160.97.

NRG Energy

NRG Energy (NRG - Get Report) , together with its subsidiaries, operates as a power and energy company. This stock closed up 2.3% at $31.19 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 7.89 million
Three-Month Average Volume: 3.98 million
Volume % Change: 110%

From a technical perspective, NRG jumped higher here right above its 50-day moving average of $30.37 with above-average volume. This jump to the upside on Wednesday also briefly pushed shares of NRG back above its 200-day moving average of $31.12. Shares of NRG tagged an intraday high of $31.35, before closing just below that level at $31.19. This stock is now quickly pushing shares of NRG within range of triggering a big breakout trade. That trade will hit if NRG manages to take out Wednesday's intraday high of $31.35 to $32 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in NRG as long as it's trending above Wednesday's intraday low of $30.68 or above its 50-day at $30.37 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 3.98 million shares. If that breakout kicks off soon, then NRG will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $33 to $35.67, or even its 52-week high at $38.09.

RCS Capital

RCS Capital (RCAP) , through its subsidiaries, is engaged in the wholesale broker-dealer, and investment banking and capital markets business activities. This stock closed up 5.7% to $23.81 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 2.46 million
Three-Month Average Volume: 539,514
Volume % Change: 234%

From a technical perspective, RCAP gapped higher here right above its 50-day moving average of $22.20 with strong upside volume flows. This sharp gap to the upside on Wednesday is quickly pushing shares of RCAP within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit if RCAP manages to take out its 200-day moving average of $24.62 and then once it clears more key overhead resistance at $24.80 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in RCAP as long as it's trending above Wednesday's intraday low of $23.34 or above its 50-day at $22.20 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 539,514 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then RCAP will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $30 to $32, or even $33.

To see more stocks rising on unusual volume, check out the Stocks Rising on Unusual Volume portfolio on Stockpickr.

-- Written by Roberto Pedone in Delafield, Wis.

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At the time of publication, author had no positions in stocks mentioned. Roberto Pedone, based out of Delafield, Wis., is an independent trader who focuses on technical analysis for small- and large-cap stocks, options, futures, commodities and currencies. Roberto studied international business at the Milwaukee School of Engineering, and he spent a year overseas studying business in Lubeck, Germany. His work has appeared on financial outlets including CNBC.com and Forbes.com. You can follow Pedone on Twitter at www.twitter.com/zerosum24 or @zerosum24.