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.

Veritex Holdings

Veritex Holdings (VBTX) operates as the holding company for Veritex Community Bank that provides various commercial banking products and services to small- and medium-size businesses and professionals. This stock closed up 3% to $28.35 in Tuesday's trading session.

  • Tuesday's Volume: 307,000
  • Three-Month Average Volume: 85,082
  • Volume % Change: 223%

From a technical perspective, Veritex Holdings jumped notably higher on Tuesday right off its 20-day moving average of $27.49 a share with strong upside volume flows. This stock has been uptrending very strong over the last three months and change, with shares moving higher off its low of $17.45 a share to its recent high of $29.33 a share. During that uptrend, shares of Veritex Holdings have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That strong move has now pushed this stock within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will trigger if this stock manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $29 to its all-time high of $29.33 a share with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in Veritex Holdings as long as it's trending above its 20-day moving average of $27.49 a share or above its 50-day moving average of $26.04 a share and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 85,082 shares. If that breakout fires off 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 $35 to $40 a share.

Acacia Communication

Acacia Communications (ACIA) provides high-speed coherent interconnect products in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Asia Pacific region. This stock closed up 6.6% to $65.71 in Tuesday's trading session.

  • Tuesday's Volume: 3.59 million
  • Three-Month Average Volume: 1.27 million
  • Volume % Change: 204%

From a technical perspective, Acacia Communications ripped sharply higher on Tuesday right above its 20-day moving average of $59.80 a share and back above its 50-day moving average of $62.82 a share with strong upside volume flows. This high-volume spike to the upside is now quickly pushing shares of Acacia Communications within range of triggering a big breakout trade above some key near-term overhead resistance levels. That trade will trigger if this stock manages to take out Tuesday's intraday high of $65.94 a share and then once it clears some key near-term overhead resistance levels at $68.10 to $68.50 a share with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in Acacia Communications as long as it's trending above its 50-day moving average of $62.82 a share or above its 20-day moving average of $59.80 a share and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 1.27 million 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 $72 to $74.75, or even $80 a share.

Cara Therapeutics

Cara Therapeutics (CARA) , a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, focuses on developing and commercializing chemical entities designed to alleviate pain and pruritus by selectively targeting kappa opioid receptors in the U.S. This stock closed up 14.9% to $15.53 in Tuesday's trading session.

  • Tuesday's Volume: 3.82 million
  • Three-Month Average Volume: 1.58 million
  • Volume % Change: 168%

From a technical perspective, Cara Therapeutics exploded higher on Tuesday right off some near-term support at $13.32 a share and back above its 20-day moving average of $14.38 a share with heavy upside volume flows. This high-volume rip to the upside is now quickly pushing shares of Cara Therapeutics within range of triggering a big breakout trade above some key overhead resistance levels. That trade will trigger if this stock manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $16 to $17 a share and then above its 52-week high of $17.20 a share with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in Cara Therapeutics as long as it's trending above its 20-day moving average of $14.38 a share or above more near-term support at $14 a share and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 1.58 million shares. If that breakout takes hold 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 $18 to $20, or even $22 a share.

Tower International

Tower International (TOWR) manufactures and sells engineered automotive structural metal components and assemblies primarily for original equipment manufacturers. This stock closed up 2.4% to $26.85 in Tuesday's trading session.

  • Tuesday's Volume: 386,000
  • Three-Month Average Volume: 133,631
  • Volume % Change: 162%

From a technical perspective, Tower International spiked notably higher on Tuesday back above its 20-day moving average of $26.13 a share and right into its 50-day moving average of $27.06 a share with above-average volume flows. This high-volume bump to the upside managed to push shares of Tower International right into a key downtrend line that dates back to its recent high of $28.92 a share. This move is now quickly pushing this stock within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade above some key overhead resistance levels. That trade will trigger if this stock manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $27.50 to $28 a share and then once it clears its 52-week high of $29.05 a share with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in Tower International as long as it's trending above its 20-day moving average of $26.13 a share or above more near-term support around $25.50 a share and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 133,631 shares. If that breakout fires 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 $31 to $32, or even $33 to $34 a share.

Dun & Bradstreet

Dun & Bradstreet (DNB) provides commercial data, analytics, and insights on businesses worldwide. This stock closed up 3.2% to $105.65 in Tuesday's trading session.

  • Tuesday's Volume: 948,000
  • Three-Month Average Volume: 293,452
  • Volume % Change: 253%

From a technical perspective, Dun & Bradstreet spiked sharply higher on Tuesday right above its recent low of $100.46 a share with strong upside volume flows. This stock recently gapped-down sharply lower from around $124 a share to $100.46 a share with heavy downside volume flows. This high-volume move lower has managed to push shares of Dun & Bradstreet into oversold territory, since its current relative strength index reading is below 30. Oversold can always get more oversold, but it's also an area where a stock can make a sharp rebound higher from. 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 $106.90 a share with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in Dun & Bradstreet as long as it's trending above some key near-term support levels at $102 a share or above its recent low of $100.46 a share and then once it sustains a move or close above Tuesday's intraday high of $106.90 a share with volume that hits near or above 293,452 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 level at its recent gap-down-day high of around $113 a share. Any high-volume move above $113 will then give this stock a chance to re-fill some of its recent gap-down-day zone that started near $124 a share.

Phillips 66 Partners LP

Phillips 66 Partners LP (PSXP) owns, operates, develops, and acquires crude oil, refined petroleum products, and natural gas liquids pipelines and terminals, as well as other transportation and midstream assets in the U.S. This stock closed up 1.1% to $56.41 in Tuesday's trading session.

  • Tuesday's Volume: 1.32 million
  • Three-Month Average Volume: 425,573
  • Volume % Change: 223%

From a technical perspective, Phillips 66 Partners LP spiked modestly higher on Tuesday right above its 20-day moving average of $54.78 a share with heavy upside volume flows. This stock has been uptrending strong over the last two months and change, with shares moving higher off its low of $42.87 a share to its recent high of $58 a share. During that uptrend, this stock has been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. This high-volume bump to the upside on Tuesday is now quickly pushing shares of Phillips 66 Partners LP within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will trigger if this stock manages to take out Tuesday's intraday high of $56.74 a share and then above more key resistance at $58 a share with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in Phillips 66 Partners LP as long as it's trending above its 20-day moving average of $54.78 a share or above more near-term support at $53.04 a share and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 425,573 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 $60 to $62.50, or even $64 to $65 a share.

T-Mobile US

T-Mobile US (TMUS) , together with its subsidiaries, provides mobile communications services for consumers and businesses in the U.S., Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. This stock closed up 1.1% to $61.60 in Tuesday's trading session.

  • Tuesday's Volume: 17.97 million
  • Three-Month Average Volume: 4.32 million
  • Volume % Change: 326%

From a technical perspective, T-Mobile US spiked modestly higher on Tuesday right above its 50-day moving average of $58.93 a share and back above its 20-day moving average of $61.32 a share with monster upside volume flows. This stock has been uptrending strong over the last four months and change, with shares moving higher off its low of $44.91 a share to its new 52-week high of $63.68 a share. During that uptrend, this stock has been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. This high-volume bump to the upside on Tuesday is now quickly pushing shares of T-Mobile US within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will trigger if this stock manages to take out Tuesday's intraday high of $62.84 a share and then once it clears its 52-week high of $63.68 a share with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in T-Mobile US as long as it's trending above its 50-day moving average of $58.93 a share or above more near-term support at $57 a share and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that registers near or above 4.32 million shares. If that breakout develops 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 $70 to $75, or even $80 a share.

Quantenna Communications

Quantenna Communications (QTNA) designs, develops, and markets wireless communication solutions enabling wireless local area networking for telecommunications service provider market in the U.S. and internationally. This stock closed up 6.1% to $21.94 in Tuesday's trading session.

  • Tuesday's Volume: 646,000
  • Three-Month Average Volume: 230,969
  • Volume % Change: 186%

From a technical perspective, Quantenna Communications spiked sharply higher on Tuesday right above some near-term support at $20 a share with strong upside volume flows. This stock has been uptrending over the last few weeks, with shares moving higher off its low of $17.90 a share to its intraday high on Tuesday of $22.84 a share. During that uptrend, shares of Quantenna Communications have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That uptrend is now quickly pushing this stock 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 $22.84 a share and then once it clears its all-time high of $24.14 a share with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in Quantenna Communications as long as it's trending above some near-term support levels at $20 a share or its 50-day moving average of $19.28 a share and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 230,969 shares. If that breakout triggers 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 breakout are $30 to $35, or even $40 a share.

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

More from Stocks

Dow Wavers, S&P 500 and Nasdaq Rise Ahead of Alphabet Earnings

Dow Wavers, S&P 500 and Nasdaq Rise Ahead of Alphabet Earnings

3 Simple Reasons to Buy Bank Stocks With Juicy Dividends

3 Simple Reasons to Buy Bank Stocks With Juicy Dividends

PayPal's New Activist Investor Is Right for Thinking Stock Is 50% Undervalued

PayPal's New Activist Investor Is Right for Thinking Stock Is 50% Undervalued

Sergio Marchionne in His Own Words: Why Ferrari's IPO Has Been So Successful

Sergio Marchionne in His Own Words: Why Ferrari's IPO Has Been So Successful

Video: Jim Cramer on Financials, Industrials, Fiat Chrysler and Hasbro

Video: Jim Cramer on Financials, Industrials, Fiat Chrysler and Hasbro