Stock Quotes in this Article: BX, EPAY, TKMR, ENTA

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 recently.

Enanta Pharmaceuticals

Enanta Pharmaceuticals (ENTA), a biotechnology company, is engaged in the development of small molecule drugs for the infectious disease field. This stock closed up 13.3% at $36.58 in Friday's trading session.

Friday's Volume: 1.58 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 234,448

Volume % Change: 554%

From a technical perspective, ENTA gapped up sharply higher here and broke out above some near-term overhead resistance at $34.35 with monster upside volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of ENTA within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit if ENTA manages to take out Friday's high of $38.22 to its all-time high at $38.48 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in ENTA as long as it's trending above Friday's low of $35.39 or above $34 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that's near or above 234,448 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then ENTA will set up to enter new all-time-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $45 to $50.

Bottomline Technologies

Bottomline Technologies (EPAY) provides cloud-based payment, invoice and banking solutions to corporations, insurance companies, financial institutions and banks worldwide. This stock closed up 2.2% at $34.62 in Friday's trading session.

Friday's Volume: 448,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 246,287

Volume % Change: 155%

From a technical perspective, EPAY spiked notably higher here right above its 200-day moving average of $29.94 and back above its 50-day moving average of $34.17 with above-average volume. This stock has been consolidating and trending sideways for the last three months, with shares moving between $30.68 on the downside and $36.66 on the upside. This spike on Friday is starting to push shares of EPAY within range of triggering a major breakout trade above the upper-end of its recent sideways trading chart pattern. That breakout will hit if EPAY manages to take out some key overhead resistance levels at $35.56 to $36.28 and then once it takes out $36.26 to its 52-week high at $36.66 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in EPAY as long as it's trending above Friday's low of $30.68 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that's near or above 246,287 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then EPAY will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory above $36.66, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $40 to $45.

The Blackstone Group

The Blackstone Group (BX) is a publicly owned investment manager. The firm also provides financial advisory services to its clients. This stock closed up 1.6% at $32.75 in Friday's trading session.

Friday's Volume: 9.07 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 4.46 million

Volume % Change: 225%

From a technical perspective, BX spiked modestly higher here right above its 50-day moving average of $30.28 with heavy upside volume. This stock has been uptrending strong for the last five months, with shares moving higher from its low of $21.12 to its recent high of $33.41. During that uptrend, shares of BX have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now pushed shares of BX within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if BX manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $33.24 to its 52-week high at $33.41 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in BX as long as it's trending above Friday's low of $31.79 or above its 50-day at $30.28 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that's near or above 4.46 million shares. If that breakout hits soon, then BX will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $38 to $40.

Tekmira Pharmaceuticals

Tekmira Pharmaceuticals (TKMR), is a biopharmaceutical company focused on advancing ribonucleic acid interference therapeutics and providing its lipid nanoparticle delivery technology to pharmaceutical partners. This stock closed up 7.3% at $13.96 in Friday's trading session.

Friday's Volume: 734,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 188,437

Volume % Change: 302%

From a technical perspective, TKMR gapped up sharply higher here and broke out into new 52-week-high territory above some near-term overhead resistance at $13.35 with strong upside volume. This stock recently formed a double bottom at $10.94 to $11.02. Following that bottom, shares of TKMR have spiked sharply higher with strong upside volume flows. Market players should now look for a continuation move higher in the short-term if TKMR manages to take out Friday's high of $14.85 with strong volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in TKMR as long as it's trending above Friday's low of $13.30 or above $12 and then once it sustains a move or close above $14.85 with volume that's near or above 188,437 shares. If we get that move soon, then TKMR 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 $18.

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.