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.

New Jersey Resources

New Jersey Resources (NJR - Get Report) , an energy services holding company, provides retail and wholesale natural gas energy services. This stock closed up 3.4% at $52.22 in Monday's trading session.

Monday's Volume: 621,000
Three-Month Average Volume: 226,386
Volume % Change: 154%

From a technical perspective, NJR bounced higher here back above its 50-day moving average of $50.77 with above-average volume. This notable spike to the upside on Monday also pushed shares of NJR into breakout territory, since the stock took out or flirted with some near-term overhead resistance levels at $51.24 to $52.44. Market players should now look for a continuation move to the upside in the short-term if NJR manages to clear Monday's intraday high of $52.76 with strong upside volume flows.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in NJR as long as it's trending above its 200-day at $49.45 or above more key near-term support at $49.29 and then once it sustains a move or close above $52.76 with volume that hits near or above 226,386 shares. If that move starts soon, then NJR will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $55 to its 52-week high at $57.79.

F5 Networks

F5 Networks (FFIV - Get Report) develops, markets, and sells application delivery networking products that optimize the security, performance, and availability of network applications, servers, and storage systems. This stock closed up 1.8% at $109.11 in Monday's trading session.

Monday's Volume: 2.04 million
Three-Month Average Volume: 1.02 million
Volume % Change: 118%

From a technical perspective, FFIV spiked modestly higher here with above-average volume. This spike higher on Monday briefly pushed shares of FFIV back above its 50-day moving average of $120.01, before it closed just below that level at $109.11. Market players should now look for a continuation move to the upside in the short-term if FFIV manages to take out Monday's intraday high of $112.36 to some more near-term overhead resistance just under $114 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in FFIV as long as it's trending above Monday's intraday low of $106.82 and then once it sustains a move or close above those near-term overhead resistance levels with volume that's near or above 1.02 million shares. If that move gets started soon, then FFIV will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at its 50-day moving average of $120.01 to $123.55.

Sagent Pharmaceuticals

Sagent Pharmaceuticals (SGNT) , a specialty pharmaceutical company, develops, sources, manufactures, and markets pharmaceutical products, principally injectable-based generic equivalents to branded products in the U.S. This stock closed up 4.9% at $32.81 in Monday's trading session.

Monday's Volume: 431,000
Three-Month Average Volume: 205,985
Volume % Change: 95%

From a technical perspective, SGNT bucked the market weakness on Monday and spiked sharply higher right above some near-term support at $31 with above-average volume. This strong action on Monday also pushed shares of SGNT into new 52-week-high territory, since the stock flirted with some near-term overhead resistance at $32.89. Shares of SGNT tagged an intraday high of $33.22, before it closed just below that level at $32.81. Market players should now look for a continuation move to the upside in the short-term if SGNT manages to take out Monday's intraday high of $33.22 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in SGNT as long as it's trending above some key near-term support levels at $31 or at $29 and then once it sustains a move or close above Monday's intraday high of $33.22 with volume that's near or above 205,985 shares. If that move develops soon, then SGNT will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that action are $35 to $40, or even $45.

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.