Stock Quotes in this Article: GENT, GIVN, SGNT

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.

Sagent Pharmaceuticals

Sagent Pharmaceuticals (SGNT) is a pharmaceutical company engaged in developing, manufacturing, sourcing and marketing pharmaceutical products, with a specific emphasis on injectables. This stock closed up 4.2% to $23.80 in Monday's trading session.

Monday's Volume: 510,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 241,263

Volume % Change: 77%

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From a technical perspective, SGNT ripped sharply higher here right off some near-term support at $22.50 with above-average volume. This stock has been uptrending strong for the last month and change, with shares moving higher from its low of $19.76 to its intraday high of $24.22. During that uptrend, shares of SGNT have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now pushed shares of SGNT within range of triggering a big breakout trade. That trade will hit if SGNT manages to take out Monday's high of $24.22 to its 52-week high at $24.27 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in SGNT as long as it's trending above support at $22.50 or above its 50-day at $21.75 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 241,263 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then SGNT will set up to enter 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are its next major overhead resistance levels at $27 to $30.

Gentium

Gentium (GENT) is engaged in the research and development of drugs derived from DNA and DNA molecules. This stock closed up 5.7% at $47.92 in Monday's trading session.

Monday's Volume: 262,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 155,611

Volume % Change: 85%

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From a technical perspective, GENT spiked sharply higher here with above-average volume. This stock has been uptrending strong for the last four months, with shares soaring higher from its low of $7.37 to its recent high of $49.39. During that uptrend, shares of GENT have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. This move has now pushed shares of GENT within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if GENT manages to take out Monday's high of $48.71 to its 52-week high of $49.39 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in GENT as long as it's trending above Monday's low of $45.66 or above $42.50 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that's near or above 155,611 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then GENT will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $55 to $60.

Given Imaging

Given Imaging (GIVN) develops, manufactures and markets diagnostic products for the visualization and detection of disorders of the gastrointestinal tract. This stock closed up 2.5% at $22.34 in Monday's trading session.

Monday's Volume: 159,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 71,271

Volume % Change: 144%

From a technical perspective, GIVN jumped higher here and entered new 52-week-high territory with above-average volume. This stock has been uptrending strong for the last five months, with shares moving higher from its low of $13.01 to its intraday high of $22.44. During that uptrend, shares of GIVN have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. Market players should now look for a continuation move higher in the short-term if GIVN can make a new 52-week high soon.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in GIVN as long as it's trending above $21 and then once it sustains a move or close above Monday's high of $22.44 with volume that's near or above 71,271 shares. If we get that move soon, then GIVN will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that move are $25 to $27.

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.