Stock Quotes in this Article: BMRN, SGMO, TEAR

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.

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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.

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

Biomarin Pharmaceutical

Biomarin Pharmaceutical (BMRN) develops and commercializes pharmaceuticals for serious diseases and medical conditions. This stock closed up 1.8% at $65.94 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 2.18 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 1.39 million

Volume % Change: 100%

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From a technical perspective, BMRN jumped higher here and broke out above some near-term overhead resistance at $65.75 with above-average volume. This stock has been trending sideways for the last month, with shares moving between $65.75 on the upside and $62 on the downside. This move on Wednesday has now started to push BMRN above the upper end of its recent range with solid upside volume flows.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in BMRN as long as it's trending above $64, and then once it sustains a move or close above Wednesday's high of $67.04 with volume that's near or above 1.39 million shares. If we get that move soon, then BMRN will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $69.79 to its 52-week high at $71.56.

Sangamo BioSciences

Sangamo BioSciences (SGMO) is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company engaged in the research, development and commercialization of engineered DNA-binding proteins for the development of novel therapeutic strategies for unmet medical needs. This stock closed up 6.9% at $10.69 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 1.29 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 728,406

Volume % Change: 130%

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From a technical perspective, SGMO ripped higher here right above some near-term support at $9.50 and into breakout territory above $10.40 with strong upside volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of SGMO within range of triggering another big breakout trade. That trade will hit if SGMO manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $10.92 to its 52-week high at $11.24 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in SGMO as long as it's trending above some near-term support levels at $10 or $9.50, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that's near or above 728,406 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then SGMO will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $12 to $15.

TearLab

TearLab (TEAR) is an in-vitro diagnostic company that commercializes a proprietary tear-testing platform. This stock closed up 1.8% at $13.73 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 1.75 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 972,073

Volume % Change: 165%

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From a technical perspective, TEAR jumped modestly higher here right off its 50-day moving average of $12.03 with strong upside volume flows. This stock has been uptrending strong for the last six months, with shares moving higher from its low of $5.30 to its recent high of $15.18. During that uptrend, shares of TEAR have been making mostly higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move now has TEAR trending within range of triggering a big breakout trade. That trade will hit if TEAR manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $14.28 to its 52-week high at $15.18 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in TEAR as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $12.03 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that's near or above 972,073 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then TEAR 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.

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.

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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.