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.

Barrett Business Services

Barrett Business Services (BBSI - Get Report) provides business management solutions for small and medium-sized companies in the U.S. This stock is trading up 24.7% to $37.82 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 533,000
Three-Month Average Volume: 247,284
Volume % Change: 289%

From a technical perspective, BBSI is exploding higher here with above-average volume. This sharp move to the upside has now pushed shares of BBSI into breakout territory, since this stock has taken out some key near-term overhead resistance levels at $30.60 to $34.03. That move above $34.03 has now started to push shares of BBSI into its previous gap-down-day zone from last October that started near $45. Market players should now look for a continuation move to the upside if BBSI manages to clear Wednesday's intraday high of $37.91 with strong upside volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in BBSI as long as it's trending above Wednesday's intraday low of $31.56 and then once it sustains a move or close above Wednesday's intraday high of $37.91 with volume that hits near or above 247,284 shares. If that move gets underway soon, then BBSI will set up to re-fill some more of its previous gap-down-day zone from last October that started near $45.

Covenant Transportation Group

Covenant Transportation Group (CVTI - Get Report) , together with its subsidiaries, offers truckload transportation and brokerage services in the continental U.S. This stock is trading up 1.4% at $29.45 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 285,000
Three-Month Average Volume: 243,016
Volume % Change: 120%

From a technical perspective, CVTI is spiking modestly higher here right above some key near-term support levels at $27.20 and its 50-day moving average of $27.07 with above-average volume. This stock has been uptrending incredibly strong over the last six months, with shares soaring higher from its low of $11.05 to its recent high of $30.50. During that uptrend, shares of CVTI have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now pushed shares of CVTI within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade above some key overhead resistance. That trade will hit if CVTI manages to clear its 52-week high of $30.50 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in CVTI as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $27.07 and then once it sustains a move or close above its 52-week high of $30.50 with volume that registers near or above 243,016 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then CVTI will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that move are $35 to $38.

Enova International

Enova International (ENVA - Get Report) provides online financial services to alternative credit consumers in the U.S., the U.K., Australia, Canada and Brazil. This stock is trading up 8.4% at $22.30 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 363,000
Three-Month Average Volume: 342,595
Volume % Change: 255%

From a technical perspective, ENVA is gapping up sharply higher here back above its 50-day moving average of $21.45 with strong upside volume flows. This gap to the upside on Wednesday has also pushed shares of ENVA into breakout territory, since the stock has cleared some near-term overhead resistance at $21.12. Shares of ENVA are now quickly trending within range of triggering a much bigger breakout trade. That trade will hit if ENVA manages to take out some key near-term overhead resistance levels at $23.16 to $23.55 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in ENVA as long as it's trending above Wednesday's intraday low of $21.86 or above its 50-day at $21.45 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that registers near or above 342,595 shares. If that breakout develops soon, then ENVA will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $26 to $27.

Hain Celestial Group

Hain Celestial Group (HAIN - Get Report) , together with its subsidiaries, manufactures, markets, distributes and sells organic and natural products in the U.S., the U.K., Canada and Europe. This stock is trading up 4.5% at $57.22 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 1.39 million
Three-Month Average Volume: 1.12 million
Volume % Change: 164%

From a technical perspective, HAIN is ripping sharply higher here back above its 50-day moving average of $55.88 with strong upside volume flows. This stock recently formed a double bottom chart pattern a $51.95 to $51.96. Following that bottom, shares of HAIN have now started to spike higher back above its 50-day and into breakout territory above some near-term overhead resistance at $55.18. Shares of HAIN are now quickly moving within range of triggering a much bigger breakout trade. That trade will hit if HAIN manages to clear some key near-term overhead resistance levels at $57.81 to its 52-week high at $60.45 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in HAIN as long as it's trending above $54 or above Wednesday's intraday low of $52.72 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that's near or above 1.12 million shares. If that breakout materializes soon, then HAIN will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $65 to $70, or even $75

-- 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.