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."

Stocks with unusual volume are something that I tweet about on a daily basis. These are also the exact type of stocks that I love to trade and alert to my subscribers in real-time.

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.

Blueprint Medicines

  • Monday's Volume: 408,000
  • Three-Month Average Volume: 143,814
  • Volume % Change: 176%

Blueprint Medicines  (BPMC - Get Report) , a biopharmaceutical company, develops drugs of small molecule kinase inhibitors that target genomic drivers in various cancers and rare genetic diseases. This stock traded up 13.1% to $15.45 in Monday's trading session.

From a technical perspective, Blueprint Medicines ripped sharply higher on Monday right off some near-term support at $13.27 a share with strong upside volume flows. This stock recently formed a double bottom chart pattern, after shares found some buying interest at $13.04 to $13.27 a share. Following that potential bottom, shares of Blueprint Medicines have now started to spike sharply higher, and it's quickly moving 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 $16 a share with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in Blueprint Medicines as long as it's trending above some near-term support at $15 a share or at around $14.50 a share and then once it sustains a move or close above $16 a share with volume that hits near or above 143,814 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 its 20-day moving average of $17.06 to its 50-day moving average of $17.58, or even $18 to $19 a share.

Nxstage Medical

  • Monday's Volume: 1.05 million
  • Three-Month Average Volume: 537,838
  • Volume % Change: 125%

Nxstage Medical  (NXTM) , a medical technology company, develops, manufactures and markets products and services for patients suffering from chronic or acute kidney failure. This stock traded up 6.4% to $17.89 in Monday's trading session.

From a technical perspective, Nxstage Medical ripped sharply higher on Monday back above its 200-day moving average of $17.19 a share with strong upside volume flows. This stock has been uptrending strong over the last two months, with shares soaring sharply higher off its low of $13.49 a share to its intraday high on Monday of $17.96 a share. During that uptrend, shares of Nxstage Medical have been making mostly higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. This big spike to the upside on Monday 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 Monday's intraday high of $17.96 a share to some more resistance just above $18 a share with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in Nxstage Medical as long as it's trending above its 200-day moving average of $17.19 a share or above its 20-day moving average of $16 a share and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that registers near or above 537,838 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then this stock will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $20 to $21, or even $22 a share.

Ebix

  • Monday's Volume: 832,452
  • Three-Month Average Volume: 323,333
  • Volume % Change: 157%

Ebix  (EBIX - Get Report)  provides on-demand software and e-commerce solutions for the insurance industry. This stock traded up 1.2% to $47.82 in Monday's trading session.

From a technical perspective, Ebix spiked notably higher on Monday back above its 20-day moving average of $46.88 a share with strong upside volume flows. This stock has been uptrending very strong over the last five months, with shares soaring higher off its low of $28.22 a share to its recent high of $49.92 a share. During that uptrend, shares of Ebix have been making mostly higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. This modest jump to the upside on Monday is now starting to push shares of Ebix within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. trade will trigger if this stock manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $49.55 a share to its 52-week high of $49.92 a share with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in Ebix as long as it's trending above Monday's intraday low of $45.05 a share or above more near-term support at $44 a share and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 323,333 shares. If that breakout kicks off 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 $55 to $60 a share.

Taro Pharmaceutical

Taro Pharmaceutical  (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 2.3% to $133.19 in Monday's trading session.

  • Monday's Volume: 322,000
  • Three-Month Average Volume: 142,492
  • Volume % Change: 153%

From a technical perspective, Taro Pharmaceutical trended notably higher on Monday right off some near-term support at $130 a share with above-average volume. This stock has been downtrending over the last few weeks, with shares sliding lower off its high of $152.30 a share to its recent low of $125.28 a share. During that downtrend, shares of Taro Pharmaceutical have been consistently making lower highs and lower lows, which is bearish technical price action. That said, this stock has now started to rebound sharply off that recent low of $125.28 with strong volume. Market players should now look for a continuation move to the upside in the short-term if this stock manages to clear Monday's intraday high of $134.15 a share with strong upside volume flows.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in Taro Pharmaceutical as long as it's trending above some near-term support at $130 a share and then once it sustains a move or close above Monday's intraday high of $134.15 a share with volume that registers near or above 142,492 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 $137.50 to $140, or even its 50-day moving average of $141.09 to its 200-day moving average of $142.61 a share.

Lifevantage

  • Monday's Volume: 150,000
  • Three-Month Average Volume: 51,884
  • Volume % Change: 148%

Lifevantage  (LFVN)  identifies, researches, develops and distributes nutraceutical dietary supplements and skin care products. This stock traded up 5.9% to $10.38 in Monday's trading session.

From a technical perspective, Lifevantage ripped sharply higher on Monday right above some near-term support at $9.60 a share with above-average volume. This stock has been uptrending strong over the last few weeks, with shares ripping higher off its low of $8.01 a share to its intraday high on Monday of $10.54 a share. During that uptrend, this stock has been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. This strong trend has now pushed shares of Lifevantage within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if this stock manages to take out Monday's intraday high of $10.54 a share to its 52-week high of $10.55 a share with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in Lifevantage as long as it's trending above some near-term support levels at $9.60 to $9.40 a share or above its 50-day moving average of $9.18 a share and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 51,884 shares. If that breakout takes hold soon, then this stock will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $11.48 to $12, or even $13 to $14 a share.

Q2 Holdings

  • Monday's Volume: 494,000
  • Three-Month Average Volume: 205,771
  • Volume % Change: 149%

Q2 Holdings  (QTWO - Get Report)  provides secure cloud-based virtual banking solutions to regional and community financial institutions. This stock traded up 7.4% to $24.91 in Monday's trading session.

From a technical perspective, Q2 Holdings ripped sharply higher on Monday back above both its 20-day moving average of $23.94 a share and its 200-day moving average of $24.76 a share with strong upside volume flows. This high-volume rip to the upside also briefly pushed this stock into breakout territory, since it flirted with some key near-term resistance at $24.97 a share. Market players should now look for a continuation move to the upside in the short-term if shares of Q2 Holdings manages to clear Monday's intraday high of $25.32 a share with strong volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in Q2 Holdings as long as it's trending above its 20-day moving average of $23.94 a share or above Monday's intraday low of $23.29 a share and then once it sustains a move or close above Monday's intraday high of $25.32 a share with volume that hits near or above 205,771 shares. If that move gets started soon, then this stock will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $26 to $27, or even $28 to its 52-week high of $30.44 a share.

LGI Homes

  • Monday's Volume: 1.16 million
  • Three-Month Average Volume: 391,275
  • Volume % Change: 179%

LGI Homes  (LGIH - Get Report)  engages in the design, construction, marketing and sale of new homes in Texas, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, New Mexico, South Carolina, North Carolina, Colorado, Washington and Tennessee markets. This stock traded up 4.9% to $29.60 in Monday's trading session.

From a technical perspective, LGI Homes ripped sharply higher on Monday right above its 20-day moving average of $28.20 a share with strong upside volume flow. This high-volume rip to the upside briefly pushed shares of LGI Homes into breakout territory, after this stock flirted with some near-term resistance at $29.77 a share. Market players should now look for a continuation move to the upside in the short-term if this stock manages to clear Monday's intraday high of $29.95 a share with strong volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in LGI Homes as long as it's trending above its 20-day moving average of $28.20 a share and then once it sustains a move or close above Monday's intraday high of $29.95 a share with volume that hits near or above 391,275 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 $31 to $33, or even $34 to $36 a share.

PJT Partners

  • Monday's Volume: 705,000
  • Three-Month Average Volume: 229,178
  • Volume % Change: 234%

PJT Partners  (PJT - Get Report)  provides various strategic advisory, restructuring and special situations, and fund placement and secondary advisory services to corporations, financial sponsors, institutional investors and governments worldwide. This stock traded up 6% to $23.06 in Monday's trading session.

From a technical perspective, PJT Partners spiked sharply higher on Monday right above some near-term support at $21.52 a share with strong upside volume flows. This high-volume rip to the upside is now quickly pushing shares of PJT Partners within range of triggering a big breakout trade above some key near-term overhead resistance levels. That trade will hit if this stock manages to take out Monday's intraday high of $23.39 to $24 a share and then above more resistance levels at $24.24 to its 50-day moving average of $24.65 a share with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in PJT Partners as long as it's trending above some key near-term support at $22 a share or above that recent low of $21.52 a share and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 229,178 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 $26.50 to $27, or even $27.60 to $28.50 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.