Professional traders running mutual funds and hedge funds don't just look at a stock's price moves, they 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 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.

Varonis Systems

Varonis Systems (VRNS - Get Report) provides software platform for enterprises to analyze, secure, manage, and utilize their unstructured data. This stock closed up 1.9% to $31 in Tuesday's trading session.

  • Tuesday's Volume: 672,000
  • Three-Month Average Volume: 282,148
  • Volume % Change: 161%

From a technical perspective, Varonis Systems spiked modestly higher on Tuesday and broke out above some near-term overhead resistance at around $30.50 a share with strong upside volume. This stock has been uptrending over the last month and change, with shares moving higher off its low of $24.75 a share to its intraday high on Tuesday of $31.15 a share. During that uptrend, shares of Varonis Systems has been making mostly higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. This jump to the upside is now quickly pushing this stock within range of triggering another near-term breakout trade. That trade will trigger if this stock manages to take out some key overhead resistance levels at $31.50 to its 52-week high of $32.05 a share with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in Varonis Systems as long as it's trending above some near-term support at $30 or at its 20-day moving average of $29.38 a share and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that registers near or above 282,148 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 $35 to $38.50 a share.

Akamai Technologies

Akamai Technologies (AKAM - Get Report) provides cloud services for delivering, optimizing, and securing content and business applications over the Internet in the U.S. and internationally. This stock closed up 2% to $71.12 in Tuesday's trading session.

  • Tuesday's Volume: 3.88 million
  • Three-Month Average Volume: 1.65 million
  • Volume % Change: 167%

From a technical perspective, Akamai Technologies jumped notably higher on Tuesday right above its 20-day moving average of $69.15 a share with strong upside volume flows. This stock recently formed a double bottom chart pattern, after shares found some buying interest at $66.35 to $67.20 a share over the last month.

Following that potential bottom, shares of Akamai Technologies have now started to spike higher and it's quickly moving within range of triggering a big breakout trade. That trade will trigger if this stock manages to take out Tuesday's intraday high of $71.64 a share and then once it clears its 52-week high of $71.64 a share with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in Akamai Technologies as long as it's trending above its 20-day moving average of $69.15 a share or above its 50-day moving average of $67.78 a share and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 1.65 million 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 $76.50 to $77, or even $78.50 a share.

Antero Midstream Partners

 

Antero Midstream Partners LP (AM) owns, operates, and develops midstream energy assets. This stock closed up 3.6% to $35.14 in Tuesday's trading session.

  • Tuesday's Volume: 3.91 million
  • Three-Month Average Volume: 491,555
  • Volume % Change: 823%

From a technical perspective, Antero Midstream Partners LP jumped notably higher on Tuesday right above its 20-day moving average of $33.64 a share with monster upside volume flows. This high-volume bump higher managed to push shares of Antero Midstream Partners LP into new all-time-high territory, after the stock cleared some near-term overhead resistance at around $34.50 a share. Market players should now look for a continuation move to the upside in the short-term if this stock manages to take out Tuesday's intraday high of $35.27 a share with strong volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in Antero Midstream LP as long as it's trending above its 20-day moving average of $33.64 a share or above more near-term support at $32 a share and then once it sustains a move or close above its new all-time high of $35.27 a share with volume that hits near or above 491,555 shares. If that move gets underway soon, then this stock will set up to enter new all-time-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that move are $40 to $45 a share.

Lumentum Holdings

Lumentum Holdings (LITE - Get Report) manufactures and sells optical and photonic products in the Americas, the Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. This stock closed up 3.6% to $40.20 in Tuesday's trading session.

  • Tuesday's Volume: 5.20 million
  • Three-Month Average Volume: 970,544
  • Volume % Change: 502%

From a technical perspective, Lumentum Holdings spiked sharply higher on Tuesday right off its 20-day moving average of $37.03 a share and back above its 50-day moving average of $38.57 a share with monster upside volume flows. This high-volume rip to the upside also pushed shares of Lumentum Holdings into breakout territory, after the stock closed above some near-term overhead resistance at $39.05 a share. This stock is now quickly trending within range of triggering another key breakout trade. That trade will trigger if this stock manages to take out Tuesday's intraday high of $41.20 a share to some more near-term resistance at $41.50 a share with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in Lumentum Holdings as long as it's trending above its 50-day moving average of $38.57 a share or above its 20-day moving average of $37.03 a share and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 970,544 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 $44.70 to its all-time high of $45.25 a share.

Phibro Animal Health

Phibro Animal Health (PAHC - Get Report) operates as a diversified animal health and mineral nutrition company primarily in the U.S. This stock closed up 3.9% to $29.10 in Tuesday's trading session.

  • Tuesday's Volume: 530,000
  • Three-Month Average Volume: 115,897
  • Volume % Change: 394%

From a technical perspective, Phibro Animal Health gapped-up sharply higher on Tuesday back above its 50-day moving average of $28.06 a share with heavy upside volume flows. This high-volume spike to the upside is now quickly pushing shares of Phibro Animal Health within range of triggering a major breakout trade above some key overhead resistance levels. That trade will trigger if this stock manages to take out Tuesday's intraday high of $29.70 a share and then once it clears more key resistance levels at $30.17 to $30.64 a share and its 52-week high of $31.77 a share high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in Phibro Animal Health as long as it's trending above its 20-day moving average of $27.65 a share and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that registers near or above 155,897 shares. If that breakout develops soon, then this stock will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $35 to $38 a share.

National Oilwell Varco

National Oilwell Varco (NOV - Get Report) designs, manufactures, and sells equipment and components used in oil and gas drilling, completion, and production operations; and provides oilfield services to the upstream oil and gas industry worldwide. This stock closed up 4.8% to $39.28 in Tuesday's trading session.

  • Tuesday's Volume: 12.13 million
  • Three-Month Average Volume: 3.65 million
  • Volume % Change: 209%

From a technical perspective, National Oilwell Varco jumped sharply higher on Tuesday right above some near-term support at $37.05 a share and back above both its 20-day moving average of $38.31 a share and its 50-day moving average of $38.36 a share with heavy upside volume. This stock recently formed a double bottom chart pattern, after shares found some buying interest at $36.82 to $37.05 a share over the last month. Following that potential bottom, shares of National Oilwell Varco have now started to jump higher with a number of strong upside volume sessions. Market players should now look for a continuation move to the upside in the short-term if this stock clears Tuesday's intraday high of $40.75 a share with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in National Oilwell Varco as long as it's trending above its 20-day moving average of $38.31 a share or above those recent double bottom support levels and then once it sustains a move or close above Tuesday's intraday high of $40.75 a share with volume that hits near or above 3.65 million 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 level at its 52-week high of $43.63 a share to $45, or even $47 a share.

e.l.f. Beauty

e.l.f. Beauty (ELF - Get Report) develops, markets, and sells cosmetic products under the e.l.f. brand name. This stock closed up 5.4% to $26.69 in Tuesday's trading session.

  • Tuesday's Volume: 989,000
  • Three-Month Average Volume: 322,844
  • Volume % Change: 193%

From a technical perspective, e.l.f. Beauty ripped sharply higher on Tuesday back above its 20-day moving average of $26.61 a share with strong upside volume flows. This stock recently formed a double bottom chart pattern, after shares found some buying interest at $24 to $24.03 a share over the last four months. Following that potential bottom, shares of e.l.f. Beauty have now started to rebound higher off those support levels, and it's quickly trending within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will trigger if this stock manages to take out some key overhead resistance levels at $27.70 to $28 a share and then once it clears its 50-day moving average of $28.58 a share with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in e.l.f. Beauty as long as it's trending above some key near-term support at $25 a share or above those recent double bottom support levels and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that registers near or above 322,844 shares. If that breakout develops soon, then this stock will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $30.50 to $31.50, or even its all-time high of $32.54 a share.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.