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.

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

Micrel

Micrel  (MCRL), together with its subsidiaries, designs, develops, manufactures and markets analog, mixed-signal and digital semiconductor devices primarily in North America, Asia and Europe. This stock is trading up 5.9% to $15.25 in Monday's trading session.

Monday's Volume: 688,000
Three-Month Average Volume: 291,223
Volume % Change: 498%

From a technical perspective MCRL is gapping up sharply higher here back above its 50-day moving average of $14.86 with heavy upside volume flows. This large spike to the upside here has also briefly pushed shares of MCRL into breakout territory, since the stock has flirted with some near-term overhead resistance at $15.29. Shares of MCRL are now starting to trend within range of triggering another breakout trade. That trade will hit if MCRL manages to take Monday's intraday high of $15.35 and then above its 52-week high of $15.72 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in MCRL as long as it's trending above Monday's intraday low of $14.90 or above more key near-term support at $14.30 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that registers near or above 291,223 share. If that breakout begins soon, then MCRL will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $20 to $23.

Extra Space Storage

Extra Space Storage  (EXR - Get Report) operates as a real estate investment trust in the U.S. This stock is trading up 1.3% to $67.95 in Monday's trading session.

Monday's Volume: 2.69 million
Three-Month Average Volume: 776,955
Volume % Change: 677%

From a technical perspective, EXR is trending modestly higher here right above some near-term support levels at $66.58 and above its 50-day moving average of $66.01 with monster upside volume flows. This trend to the upside on Monday is now starting to push shares of EXR within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade above some key overhead resistance levels. That trade will trigger if EXR manages to clear some near-term overhead resistance levels at $69 to its 52-week high of $69.80 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in EXR as long as it's trending above some near-term support levels at $66.58 or above its 50-day at $66.01 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that registers near or above 776,955 shares. If that breakout develops soon, then EXR will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $75 to $80.

Heritage Insurance

Heritage Insurance  (HRTG - Get Report) operates as a property and casualty insurance holding company in the state of Florida. This stock is trading up 2.7% at $21.99 in Monday's trading session.

Monday's Volume: 175,000
Three-Month Average Volume: 149,287
Volume % Change: 157%

From a technical perspective, HRTG is spiking higher here right above some near-term support levels at $21.03 and right above its 50-day moving average of $20.94 with above-average volume. This trend to the upside on Monday is starting to push shares of HRTG within range of triggering a big breakout trade above some key near-term overhead resistance levels. That trade will hit if HRTG manages to take out some key overhead resistance levels at $22.50 to $22.62 and then above its all-time high of $22.80 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in HRTG as long as it's trending above some near-term support levels at $21.03 or above its 50-day at $20.94 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 149,287 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then HRTG will set up to enter new all-time-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $25 to $30.

iKang Healthcare Group

iKang Healthcare Group  (KANG), together with its subsidiaries, provides preventive healthcare solutions in the People's Republic of China. This stock is trading up 7.3% at $18.46 in Monday's trading session.

Monday's Volume: 430,000
Three-Month Average Volume: 280,277
Volume % Change: 205%

From a technical perspective, KANG is soaring higher here right above its 50-day moving average of $16.97 and back above its 200-day moving average of $17.96 with above-average volume. This strong move to the upside on Monday has also pushed shares of KANG into breakout territory, since the stock has cleared some near-term overhead resistance at $17.74. Shares of KANG are now quickly approaching another big breakout trade. That trade will hit if KANG manages to take out some key near-term overhead resistance at $18.50 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in KANG as long as it's trending above its 200-day at $17.96 or above more support at $17.74 and then once it sustains a move or close above $18.50 with volume that hits near or above 280,277 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then KANG will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $19.84 to $20.33, or even $21.09 to $22.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.