Stock Quotes in this Article: CYN, PFPT, HGYS, AGTC

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.

Proofpoint

Proofpoint (PFPT) provides threat protection, regulatory compliance, archiving and governance, and secure communication solutions worldwide. This stock closed up 2.9% at $37.73 in Friday's trading session.

Friday's Volume: 1.12 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 565,548

Volume % Change: 95%

From a technical perspective, PFPT jumped higher here right above its 50-day moving average of $34.21 with above-average volume. This notable spike higher on Friday is starting to push shares of PFPT within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if PFPT manages to take out Friday's intraday high of $38.50 to some more key overhead resistance at $40.03 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in PFPT as long as it's trending above Friday's intraday low of $35.66 or above its 50-day at $34.21 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that's near or above 565,548 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then PFPT will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $43.95 to its 52-week high at $45.66.

Applied Genetic Technologies

Applied Genetic Technologies (AGTC), a clinical-stage biotechnology company, develops gene therapy products for inherited orphan ophthalmology diseases in the U.S. This stock closed up 15.2% at $17.99 in Friday's trading session.

Friday's Volume: 590,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 72,814

Volume % Change: 692%

From a technical perspective, AGTC exploded to the upside here right above some near-term support at $14.91 with monster upside volume flows. This stock had been downtrending badly for the last month and change, with shares sliding lower from its high of $34.37 to its recent low of $14.91. During that move, shares of AGTC have been making mostly lower highs and lower lows, which is bearish technical price action. That said, shares of AGTC are now rebounding sharply higher off that $14.91 low and it's quickly moving within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if AGTC manages to take out some key near-term overhead resistance at $18.52 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in AGTC as long as it's trending above $16.50 or above Friday's intraday low of $15.75 and then once it sustains a move or close above $18.52 with volume that's near or above 72,814 shares. If that breakout materializes soon, then AGTC will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at its 50-day moving average of $20.93 to $24, or even $25.

Hydrogenics

Hydrogenics (HYGS), together with its subsidiaries, designs, develops and manufactures hydrogen generation products based on water electrolysis technology and fuel cell products based on proton exchange membrane technology. This stock closed up 17.5% at $21.33 in Friday's trading session.

Friday's Volume: 681,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 197,340

Volume % Change: 327%

From a technical perspective, HYGS exploded higher here back above its 200-day moving average of $19.23 and into breakout territory above some key near-term overhead resistance levels at $18.47 to $19.72 with heavy upside volume flows. This monster move higher on Friday is now starting to push shares of HYGS within range of triggering another big breakout trade. That trade will hit if HYGS manages to take out Friday's intraday high of $21.74 to some more past overhead resistance at $23.07 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in HYGS as long as it's trending above $19.72 or above its 200-day at $19.23 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that's near or above 197,340 shares. If that breakout gets set off soon, then HYGS will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $26 to $28, or even $30.

City National

City National (CYN) operates as the bank holding company for City National Bank, which provides banking, investment and trust services to small to mid-sized businesses, entrepreneurs, professionals and affluent individuals. This stock closed up 3.4% at $76.83 in Friday's trading session.

Friday's Volume: 728,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 259,800

Volume % Change: 115%

From a technical perspective, CYN spiked sharply higher here right off both its 50-day moving average of $74.17 and its 200-day moving average of $74.25 with above-average volume. This spike to the upside on Friday is quickly pushing shares of CYN within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if CYN manages to take out Friday's intraday high of $77.40 to some more near-term overhead resistance at $78.34 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in CYN as long as it's trending above Friday's intraday low of $74.01 or above $73 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that's near or above 259,800 shares. If that breakout gets underway soon, then CYN will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $80.38 to $80.60, or even its 52-week high at $81.34.

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.