Stock Quotes in this Article: BMRN, CLVS, ANIP, ONTX

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.

Onconova Therapeutics

Onconova Therapeutics (ONTX) is engaged in the discovery and development of small molecule product candidates for the treatment of cancer. This stock closed up 16.9% at $15.21 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 694,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 191,298

Volume % Change: 201%

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From a technical perspective, ONTX exploded higher here with strong upside volume. This move for ONTX is coming off oversold territory, since the stock recent saw its relative strength index reading dip below 30 when it hit $11.73 a share. Market players should now look for a continued bounce higher off oversold levels, since this stock has dropped sharply during the last two months from $31.13 to that $11.73 low.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in ONTX as long as it's trending above $14 or above Wednesday's low of $13.15, and then once it sustains a move or close above Wednesday's high of $15.40 with volume that's near or above 191,298 shares. If we get that move soon, then ONTX will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $16.91 to $18.66. Any high-volume move above those levels will then give ONTX a chance to tag its 50-day moving average of $20.53.

Clovis Oncology

Clovis Oncology (CLVS) is engaged in acquiring, developing and commercializing innovative anti-cancer agents in the U.S., Europe and additional international markets. This stock closed up 16.68% at $54.56 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 1.12 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 443,143

Volume % Change: 130%
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From a technical perspective, CLVS skyrocketed higher here back above its 200-day moving average of $50.95 with above-average volume. This move pushed shares of CLVS into breakout territory, since the stock took out some near-term overhead resistance at $53.35. Shares of CLVS are now quickly moving within range of triggering another big breakout trade. That trade will hit if CLVS manages to take out Wednesday's high of $54.97 to its 50-day moving average of $56.82 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in CLVS as long as it's trending above its 200-day at $50.95 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 443,143 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then CLVS will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $64 to $65.

Biomarin Pharmaceutical

Biomarin Pharmaceutical (BMRN) develops and commercializes pharmaceuticals for serious diseases and medical conditions. This stock closed up 3.3% at $69.14 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 4.40 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 1.88 million

Volume % Change: 107%

From a technical perspective, BMRN spiked higher here right off its 50-day moving average of $68.62 with strong upside volume. This stock has been uptrending strong for the last few weeks, with shares moving higher from its low of $58.65 to its intraday high of $71.76. During that move, shares of BMRN 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 BMRN can take out Wednesday's high of $71.76 with strong volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in BMRN as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $68.62 or above $67.50 and then once it sustains a move or close above $71.76 with volume that this near or above 1.88 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 $76 to its 52-week high at $80.67.

ANI Pharmaceuticals

ANI Pharmaceuticals (ANIP) is a specialty pharmaceutical company engaged in the development of products for female sexual health, menopause, contraception and male hypogonadism. This stock closed up 6.8% at $13.45 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 125,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 64,660

Volume % Change: 106%

From a technical perspective, ANIP spiked sharply higher here into new 52-week high territory with strong upside volume. This stock has been uptrending strong for the last two months and change, with shares moving higher from its low of $6.84 to its intraday high of $13.49. During that uptrend, shares of ANIP have been making mostly higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in ANIP as long as it's trending above its recent breakout level of $12 and then once it sustains a move or close above its new 52-week high at $13.49 with volume that's near or above 64,660 shares. If we get that move soon, then ANIP will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that move are $17 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.