Stock Quotes in this Article: EEFT, EPAY, PNRA, TARO

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.

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.

Euronet Worldwide

Euronet Worldwide (EEFT) provides payment and transaction processing and distribution solutions to financial institutions, retailers, service providers and individual consumers worldwide. This stock closed up 5% to $49.92 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 527,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 274,075

Volume % Change: 98%

From a technical perspective, EEFT spiked sharply higher here right off its 50-day moving average of $47.68 with above-average volume. This solid move to the upside on Wednesday pushed shares of EEFT into breakout territory, since the stock took out some near-term overhead resistance at $48.98. Shares of EEFT are now quickly moving within range of triggering another big breakout trade. That trade will hit if EEFT manages to take out Wednesday's intraday high of $50 to its 52-week high at $50.32 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in EEFT as long as it's trending above Wednesday's intraday low of $47.40 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels volume that hits near or above 274,075 shares. If that breakout kicks off soon, then EEFT 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.

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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 2.9% at $28.49 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 478,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 222,541

Volume % Change: 115%

From a technical perspective, EPAY jumped higher here right above some near-term support at $27.13 with above-average volume. This stock recently formed a double bottom chart pattern $27.31 to $27.13. Following that bottom, shares of EPAY have now started to trend higher off that $27.13 low and it's quickly moving within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if EPAY manages to take out Wednesday's intraday high of $28.54 to its 50-day moving average of $29.20 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in EPAY as long as it's trending above that recent low of $27.13 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that's near or above 222,541 shares. If that breakout gets underway soon, then EPAY will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $30.83 to $31.50, or even its 200-day moving average of $32.41 to $33.30.

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Taro Pharmaceutical Industries

Taro Pharmaceutical Industries (TARO), a science-based pharmaceutical company, develops, manufactures and markets pharmaceutical products in the U.S., Canada, Israel and internationally. This stock closed up 3% at $145.33 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 109,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 62,784

Volume % Change: 50%

From a technical perspective, TARO bounced higher here right above some near-term support at $138.03 with above-average volume. This stock recently formed a triple bottom chart pattern at $136.31, $139.08 and $138.03. Following that bottom, shares of TARO have started to spike notably higher and it's quickly moving within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if TARO manages to take out Wednesday's intraday high of $146.70 to its 52-week high at $149.89 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in TARO as long as it's trending above Wednesday's intraday low of $140.57 or above some more near-term support at $138.03 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 62,784 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then TARO will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $160 to $170.

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Panera Bread

Panera Bread (PNRA), together with its subsidiaries, owns, operates and franchises retail bakery-cafes in the U.S. and Canada. This stock closed up 3.5% at $151.76 in Wednesday's trading session.

Wednesday's Volume: 2.34 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 543,375

Volume % Change: 369%

From a technical perspective, PNRA gapped up sharply higher here back above its 50-day moving average of $150.06 with monster upside volume. This sharp move to the upside on Wednesday looks to have pushed PNRA out of its recent downtrend since it tagged its high price level since mid-June. Market players should now look for a continuation move to the upside in the short-term if PNRA manages to take out Wednesday's intraday high of $154.80 with strong upside volume flows.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in PNRA as long as it's trending above Wednesday's intraday low of $148.27 and then once it sustains a move or close above $154.80 with volume that's near or above 543,375 shares. If that move gets started soon, then PNRA will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $160.13 to $160.35, or even its 200-day moving average of $165.91.

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.