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: $52
Nearest Support: $48
Catalyst: Q4 Earnings
Home improvement retailer Lowe's (LOW) - Get Lowe's Companies, Inc. (LOW) Report is up more than 5% on high volume this afternoon, following a fourth-quarter earnings beat. Lowe's posted earnings per share of 29 cents per share, but earnings guidance for the full year was $2.60, a number that came in above analysts' $2.53 consensus. That boosted guidance is the catalyst for LOW's upside action today.
The gap up in LOW this morning broke shares out of a downtrend that had been in place since the middle of November. That clears the way for a test of shares' $52 top from 2013. Buyers might want to think about scaling into a position in Lowe's here.
Annaly Capital Management
Nearest Resistance: $11.80
Nearest Support: $11
Catalyst: Q4 Earnings
Shares of $10 billion mortgage REIT Annaly Capital Management (NLY) - Get Annaly Capital Management, Inc. Report are up 2.7% on high trading volume as I write, buoyed by fourth-quarter earnings that impressed investors. NLY reported earnings per share of $1.07 for the quarter, profits that will directly correlate with Annaly's huge dividend payouts.
Today's move broke shares above resistance at $11, clearing the way for a re-test of $11.80 resistance from October. Investors looking for a chance to buy NLY should consider picking up shares here.
Nearest Resistance: $61
Nearest Support: $57.50
Catalyst: Q4 Earnings
Last up is Target (TGT) - Get Target Corporation Report, another retail name that's getting attention thanks to a fourth-quarter earnings release. Target is up 7.5% in this afternoon's session, after earnings for the quarter came in better than expected at 81 cents per share. Investors had been bracing for the worst because of the firm's data breach in 2013, and while the breach did impact performance, it was far from a worst case scenario.
Today's big move is taking shares up to test resistance at $61, the neckline level from a head and shoulders top that propelled TGT lower back in January. So while today's move is a relief for shareholders, it's a little early to get excited about buying shares again. The buy signal comes on a breakout above $61.
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, portfolios managed by the author were long TSLA. 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