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 a stock, 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."

These types of traders like to get in well before a bigger trend, 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.

Ligand Pharmaceuticals

  • Monday's Volume: 989,000
  • Three-Month Average Volume: 285,898
  • Volume % Change: 241%

From a technical perspective, Ligand Pharmaceuticals (LGND) ripped sharply higher back above both its 50-day at $104.88 a share and its 20-day at $105.56 a share with strong upside volume. This high-volume jump higher is now pushing this stock within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade above some key resistance levels.

Traders should look for long-biased trades in Ligand Pharmaceuticals as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $104.88 a share and then once it sustains a move or close above some resistance levels at $108 to its 200-day at $110 a share and then above $110.83 a share with volume near or above 285,898 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 $115 to $118.65 a share.

Rexnord

  • Monday's Volume: 5.53 million
  • Three-Month Average Volume: 1.10 million
  • Volume % Change: 507%

From a technical perspective, Rexnord (RXN) jumped notably higher back above its 20-day at $22.30 a share with strong upside volume flows. This high-volume rip higher is now pushing this stock within range of triggering a big breakout trade.

Traders should look for long-biased trades in Rexnord as long as it's trending above some near-term support at $22 or above its 200-day at $20.84 a share and then once it breaks out above resistance at $22.82 to its 52-week high of $22.97 a share with volume near or above 1.10 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 $24 to $26.80 a share.

Gogo

  • Monday's Volume: 8.70 million
  • Three-Month Average Volume: 869,100
  • Volume % Change: 907%

From a technical perspective, Gogo (GOGO) gapped-up sharply higher back above its 200-day at $9.89 a share and into breakout territory above some near-term resistance levels at $9.90 to $10.45 a share with heavy volume.

Traders should look for long-biased trades in Gogo as long as it's trending above Monday's intraday low of $10.15 a share or above its previous breakout level at $9.90 a share and then once it sustains a move or close above Monday's intraday high of $10.15 to some past resistance at $11.50 a share with volume near or above 869,100 shares. If that move gets underway soon, then this stock will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major resistance levels at $12 to its 52-week high of $13.28 a share.

Centennial Resource Development

  • Monday's Volume: 3.48 million
  • Three-Month Average Volume: 979,916
  • Volume % Change: 267%

From a technical perspective, Centennial Resource Development (CDEV) spiked notably higher right off its 50-day of $18.81 a share and into breakout territory above some near-term resistance at $19.10 a share with strong volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in Centennial Resource Development as long as it's trending above its 20-day at $18.43 a share or above more support at $17.90 to $17.60 a share and then once it sustains a move or close above resistance levels at $20.18 to $20.50 a share and above its all-time high of $20.97 a share with volume near or above 979,916 shares. If that breakout hits 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 $25 to $30 a share.

La Jolla Pharmaceutical

  • Monday's Volume: 18.29 million
  • Three-Month Average Volume: 440,315
  • Volume % Change: 10,970%

From a technical perspective, La Jolla Pharmaceutical (LJPC) gapped-up big into breakout territory above some resistance levels at $28.20 to $28.97 a share with monster volume. Market players should now look for a continuation move higher in the short-term if the bulls maintain control.

Traders should look for long-biased trades in La Jolla Pharmaceutical as long as it's trending above $30 or above Monday's intraday low of $28.20 a share and then once it sustains a move or close above Monday's intraday high of $37.67 a share with volume near or above 440,315 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 around $40 to $44.99 a share.

JinkoSolar

  • Monday's Volume: 1.57 million
  • Three-Month Average Volume: 445,266
  • Volume % Change: 258%

From a technical perspective, JinkoSolar (JKS) spiked sharply higher back above its 200-day at $17.32 a share with heavy upside volume. Market players should now look for a continuation move higher in the short-term if the uptrend remains intact.

Traders should look for long-biased trades in JinkoSolar as long as it's trending above Monday's intraday low of $16.37 or above its 50-day at $15.59 a share and then once it sustains a move or close above Monday's intraday high of $17.98 a share with volume near or above 445,266 shares. If that move gets underway soon, then this stock will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major resistance levels at $19.50 to $21.20, or even $22 a share.

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

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