Stock Quotes in this Article: IRM, PTLA, MKTO, RCPT

 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 today.

Iron Mountain

Iron Mountain (IRM) is a global provider of information protection and storage services. This stock closed up 1% at $26.88 in Monday's trading session.

Monday's Volume: 2.16 million

Three-Month Average Volume: 1.41 million

Volume % Change: 95%

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From a technical perspective, IRM bounced modestly higher here right above some near-term support at $26 with above-average volume. This stock looks like it might have formed a double bottom chart pattern at $25.91 to $25.53, after shares plunged sharply back in May to late June from $39.32 to $25.91. Shares of IRM have now started to rebound off that $25.53 low with strong upside volume flows. That move is quickly pushing IRM within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if IRM manages to take out Monday's high of $26.94 and then once it clears its 50-day moving average at $27.40 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in IRM as long as it's trending above some near-term support levels at $26 or above that recent low of $25.53 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that's near or above 1.41 million shares. If that breakout hits soon, then IRM will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $28.54 to $29.08. Any high-volume move above those levels will then give IRM a chance to re-fill some of its previous gap down zone from June that started at $34.

Marketo

Marketo (MKTO) provides a cloud-based marketing software platform that enables organizations to engage in modern relationship marketing. This stock closed up 2.7% at $35.36 in Monday's trading session.

Monday's Volume: 649,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 261,206

Volume % Change: 167%

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From a technical perspective, MKTO spiked notably higher here right above some near-term support levels at $34 to $33.31 with above-average volume. This stock has been trending sideways inside of a consolidation pattern for the last month and change, with shares moving between $33.31 on the downside and $39.80 on the upside. This move on Monday is starting to push shares of MKTO within range of triggering a big breakout trade above the upper-end of its recent sideways trading chart pattern. That breakout will hit if MKTO manages to take out some key near-term overhead resistance levels at $37.35 to $37.61 and then once it takes out its all-time high at $39.80 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in MKTO as long as it's trending above support at $34 or at $33.31 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that's near or above 261,206 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then MKTO will set up to enter new all-time-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that move are $45 to $50.

Receptos

Receptos (RCPT) is a biopharmaceutical company engaged in discovering, developing and commercializing therapeutics for immune disorders. This stock closed up 5% at $23.19 in Monday's trading session.

Monday's Volume: 69,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 55,356

Volume % Change: 50%

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From a technical perspective, RCPT ripped higher here right above some key near-term support at $21 with decent upside volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of RCPT within range of triggering a major breakout trade. That trade will hit if RCPT manages to take out its all-time high at $25 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in RCPT as long as it's trending above support at $21 and then once it sustains a move or close above its all-time high at $25 with volume that's near or above 55,356 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then RCPT will set up to enter new all-time-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $30 to $35.

Portola Pharmaceuticals

Portola Pharmaceuticals (PTLA) is a biopharmaceutical company that develops and commercializes novel therapeutics in the areas of thrombosis, other hematologic disorders and inflammation for patients who currently have limited or no approved treatment options. This stock closed up 3.3% at $27.03 in Monday's trading session.

Monday's Volume: 130,000

Three-Month Average Volume: 109,412

Volume % Change: 65%

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From a technical perspective, PTLA ripped higher here right above its 50-day moving average of $23.36 with above-average volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of PTLA within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if PTLA manages to take out Monday's high of $27.19 to its 52-week high at $27.57 with high volume.

Traders should now look for long-biased trades in PTLA as long as it's trending above some near-term support at $25 or above its 50-day at $23.36 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that's near or above 109,412 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then PTLA will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $30 to $35.

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.