Stock Quotes in this Article: JAKK, MGI, WBMD, PRTA

MADISON, 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.

Major moves in volume can signal unusual activity, such as insider buying or selling -- or buying or selling by "superinvestors."

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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.

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

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WebMD Health

WebMD Health (WBMD) provides health information services to consumers, physicians and other health care professionals, employers and health plans through its public and private online portals and health-focused publications. This stock closed up 5.9% at $29.37 on Friday.

Friday's Volume: 4.44 million

Average Volume: 437,206

Volume % Change: 986%

Shares of WBMD rose on Friday after Stifel said the ad environment at WebMD is improving, after conducting ad tracker analysis. The firm has a buy rating on the stock with a $35 a share price target.

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From a technical perspective, WBMD ripped higher here right off its 50-day moving average of $27.59 with heavy upside volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of WBMD within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if WBMD manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $30.50 to its 52-week high at $31.63 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in WBMD as long as it's trending above its 50-day at $27.59 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 437,206 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then WBMD will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. That breakout will also give WBMD a chance to re-fill some of its previous gap down zone from January of 2012 that started near $40. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $35 to $40.

Prothena

Prothena (PRTA) researches and develops potential therapeutic monoclonal antibodies directed specifically to disease causing proteins. This stock closed up 8% at $12.91 on Friday.

Friday's Volume: 1.65 million

Average Volume: 81,391

Volume % Change: 2453%

Shares of PRTA soared higher on Friday after the company was added to the Russell Global Index.

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From a technical perspective, PRTA ripped higher here right above some near-term support at $11 a share with heavy upside volume. This stock has been uptrending strong for the last three months, with shares soaring higher from its low of $6.03 to its recent high of $14 a share. During that move, shares of PRTA have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now pushed shares of PRTA within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if PRTA manages to take out its all-time high at $14 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in PRTA as long as it's trending above $12 or above $11.50 and then once it sustains a move or close above its all-time high at $14 with volume that hits near or above 81,391 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then PRTA will set up to enter new all-time-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $17 to $20.

MoneyGram International

MoneyGram International (MGI) is a global payment services company. The company's major products include global money transfers, bill payment solutions and financial paper products. This stock closed up 3.3% at $22.65 on Friday.

Friday's Volume: 675,000

Average Volume: 112,962

Volume % Change: 589%

Shares of MGI jumped higher on Friday after Reuters reported that Carlyle Group and TPG Capital LP are among the private equity firms vying for MoneyGram.

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From a technical perspective, MGI ripped higher here right above some near-term support at $21 with heavy upside volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of MGI within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if MGI manages to take out its 52-week high at $24.88 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in MGI as long as it's trending above some key near-term support levels at $21 or above $20.46, and then once it sustains a move or close above its 52-week high at $24.88 with volume that hits near or above 112,962 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then MGI will set up to enter new 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 $28 to $30.

Jakks Pacific

Jakks Pacific (JAKK) is a producer and marketer of children's toys and other consumer products. This stock closed up 7.4% at $11.25 on Friday.

Friday's Volume: 716,000

Average Volume: 154,497

Volume % Change: 426%

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From a technical perspective, JAKK ripped higher here right above its 50-day moving average at $10.22 with above-average volume. This move pushed shares of JAKK into breakout territory, since the stock took out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $10.70 to $11.12. Shares of JAKK are now starting to move within range of triggering another major breakout trade. That trade will hit if JAKK manages to take out some past resistance at $11.48 and then once it clears its 200-day at $11.85 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in JAKK as long as it's trending above $10.70, and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 154,497 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then JAKK will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $13 to $13.50. Any high-volume move above those levels will then put its next major overhead resistance levels at $14 to $15 into range for shares of JAKK.

To see more stocks rising on unusual volume, check out the Stocks Rising on Unusual Volume portfolio on Stockpickr.

-- Written by Roberto Pedone in Madison, Wis.

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At the time of publication, author had no positions in stocks mentioned.

Roberto Pedone, based out of Madison, 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.