Stock Quotes in this Article: IMGN, ECYT, ICPT

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.

>>5 Stocks Poised for Breakouts

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.

>>5 Stock Charts You Need to See

With that in mind, let's take a look at several stocks rising on unusual volume today.

Endocyte

Endocyte (ECYT) develops targeted therapies for the treatment of cancer and inflammatory diseases. The company uses its proprietary technology to create novel small molecule drug conjugates and companion imaging diagnostics. This stock is trading up 6.9% at $15.85 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 463,000

Average Volume: 265,322

Volume % Change: 179%

>>5 Stocks Insiders Love Right Now

From a technical perspective, ECYT is ripping higher here and breaking out above some past overhead resistance at $15.36 with above-average volume. This stock has been uptrending strong for the last month, with shares soaring higher from its low of $11.80 to its intraday high of $16.23. During that uptrend, shares of ECYT have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in ECYT as long as it's trending above today's low of $14.85 or above that breakout level of $15.36 and then once it sustains a move or close above today's intraday high and its new all-time high of $16.23 with volume that hits near or above 265,322 shares. If we get that move soon, then ECYT will set up to enter new all-time-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that move are $20 to $23.

ImmunoGen

ImmunoGen (IMGN) is focused on the development of therapeutics for the treatment of cancer using cancer biology, monoclonal antibodies and small molecule cytotoxic or cell-killing, agents. This stock is trading up 3.4% at $17.93 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 553,000

Average Volume: 756,459

Volume % Change: 50%

>>5 Stocks That Have Yet to Recover From 2008

From a technical perspective, IMGN is trending higher here right above its 50-day moving average of $16.53 with decent upside volume. This stock has been uptrending notably for the last few weeks, with shares moving higher from its low of $15.18 to its intraday high of $18.33. During that move, shares of IMGN have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now pushed shares of IMGN within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit if IMGN manages to take out its 52-week high at $18.83 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in IMGN as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $16.53, and then once it sustains a move or close above today's intraday high of $18.33 and then above its 52-week high at $18.83 with volume that hits near or above 756,459 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then IMGN will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $20 to $25.

Intercept Pharmaceuticals

Intercept Pharmaceuticals (ICPT) is a development-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of novel therapeutics to treat chronic liver disease utilizing its proprietary bile acid chemistry. This stock is trading up 0.77% at $44.28 in recent trading.

Today's Volume: 105,000

Average Volume: 75,759

Volume % Change: 100%

>>5 Rocket Stocks to Buy for July

From a technical perspective, is trending modestly higher here right above some key near-term support at $43 with above-average volume. This stock has been uptrending incredibly strong for the last month, with shares soaring higher from its low of $30.73 to its recent high of $45. During that uptrend, shares of ICPT have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now pushed shares of ICPT within range of triggering a major breakout trade, which will hit if ICPT manages to take out its all-time high at $45 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in ICPT as long as it's trending above some key near-term support at $43 and then once it sustains a move or close above its all-time high at $45 with volume that's near or above 75,759 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then ICPT will set up to enter new all-time high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $50 to $65, or even $60.

To see more stocks rising on unusual volume, check out the Stocks Rising on Unusual Volume portfolio on Stockpickr.

-- Written by Roberto Pedone in Delafield, Wis.

RELATED LINKS:

>>5 Financial Stocks to Trade Now
>>5 Hated Earnings Stocks You Should Love

>>5 Stocks With Big Insider Buying

Follow Stockpickr on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.

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.