BALTIMORE (Stockpickr) -- Put down the 10-K filings and the stock screeners. It's time to take a break from the traditional methods of generating investment ideas. Instead, let the crowd do it for you.
From hedge funds to individual investors, scores of market participants are turning to social media to figure out which stocks are worth watching. It's a concept thats known as "crowdsourcing," and it uses the masses to identify emerging trends in the market.
Crowdsourcing has long been a popular tool for the advertising industry, but it also makes a lot of sense as an investment tool. After all, the market is completely driven by the supply and demand, so it can be valuable to see what names are trending among the crowd.
While some fund managers are already trying to leverage social media resources like Twitter to find algorithmic trading opportunities, for most investors, crowdsourcing works best as a starting point for investors who want a starting point in their analysis. Today, we'll leverage the power of the crowd to take a look at some of the most active stocks on the market today.
These "most active" names are the most heavily-traded names on the market -- and often, uber-active names have some sort of a technical or fundamental catalyst driving investors' attention on shares. That's especially true now that earnings season is officially underway. And when there's a big catalyst, there's often a trading opportunity.
Without further ado, heres a look at today's stocks.
Nearest Resistance: N/A
Nearest Support: $70
Catalyst: Q1 Earnings
One of today's strongest stock performances comes from an unlikely source: spice and seasoning maker McCormick (MKC) - Get Report. McCormick reported first-quarter numbers to Wall Street this morning, churning out profits of 62 cents per share. That's better than the 58 cents that analysts had been expecting, and shares are up more than 5.6% as a result this afternoon. More important than the absolute gains in MCK today is the fact that this is one of the few names that hasn't been fading over the course of the session. That fact makes the breakout in shares all the more buyable now.
MCK's earnings pop shoved shares above former resistance at $70, a price that's previously attracted a glut of selling pressure. As control shifts in favor of buyers today, McCormick's high-probability trade is more upside in the sessions ahead.
If you decide to buy here, keep a protective stop on the other side of that newfound $70 support level.
Nearest Resistance: $69
Nearest Support: $64
Catalyst: Q2 Earnings
$62 billion drugstore chain Walgreen (WAG) is up 2.6% today, following second-quarter earnings that came in more or less in line with analyst guesses. WAG earned 91 cents per share, a number that was just 2 cents shy of analysts' estimates. Weak winter sales at other retailers and news of 76 planned store closures helped to present WAG's numbers in the best light today.
But this chart still doesn't look particularly good right now. Like a lot of stocks, WAG shares are fading into this afternoon, as the gains from post-earnings excitement evaporate. WAG came into March looking particularly "toppy," and while today's gap up is providing a reprieve from a breakdown, it looks more like a postponement than an outright save. A violation of support at $64 is a big sell signal in WAG.
To see these stocks in action, check out the at Most-Active Stocks portfolio on Stockpickr.
-- Written by Jonas Elmerraji in Baltimore.
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At the time of publication, author had no positions in stocks mentioned. Jonas Elmerraji, CMT, is a senior market analyst at Agora Financial in Baltimore and a contributor to TheStreet. Before that, he managed a portfolio of stocks for an investment advisory returned 15% in 2008. He has been featured in Forbes , Investor's Business Daily, and on CNBC.com. Jonas holds a degree in financial economics from UMBC and the Chartered Market Technician designation. Follow Jonas on Twitter @JonasElmerraji