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 that's 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.
Without further ado, here's a look at today's stocks.
Nearest Resistance: $185
Nearest Support: $178
Catalyst: Hostile Takeover Bid Increase
Shares of $54 billion pharmaceutical stock Allergan (AGN) - Get Allergan plc Report are seeing big volume this afternoon, following the announcement from suitor Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX) that it's prepared to boost its hostile bid up to at least $200 per share. Meanwhile, the company refused to comment on whether it had received a cash offer from another bidder. VRX's willingness to pay more for Allergan could help settle things with the target firm's board, but the market isn't pricing in that possibility here. The stock component of the deal is drawing resistance from AGN.
The technical picture looks solid at Allergan, with shares coiling in a symmetrical triangle. That said the event risk surrounding the hostile takeover makes AGN a risky name to trade. It's more like a lottery ticket than a high-probability setup right now.
Nearest Resistance: $35
Nearest Support: $27
Catalyst: Buyback News
Micron Technology (MU) - Get Micron Technology, Inc. (MU) Report is up more than 3% this afternoon, rallying on heavy volume following the announcement of a $1 billion stock repurchase authorization. At current levels, that discretionary buyback authorization means that MU can pick up approximately 3% of its outstanding shares.
From a technical standpoint, Micron's long-term uptrend is showing some cracks. Shares have been forming a broadening pattern for the last few months, a bearish price pattern that's formed by diverging trend lines. If MU can continue to hold support at $30, then the topping concerns can be ignored. Otherwise, if $30 gets violated, look out for a break of the trend line further down.
Nearest Resistance: $14.50
Nearest Support: $13.50
Catalyst: Technical Setup
Shares of automaker Ford Motor (F) - Get Ford Motor Company Report are seeing some big-volume price action this afternoon, propelled by technical factors following shares' big test of $13.50 support earlier this month. From here, Ford has a very clear trading outlook: If shares can catch a bid above $14.50, then Ford becomes a high-probability buy. Otherwise, I'd suggest avoiding this stock.
First Niagara Financial Group
Nearest Resistance: $8
Nearest Support: N/A
Catalyst: Earnings Hangover, Downgrade
Mid-cap regional bank First Niagara Financial Group (FNFG) is down 1.85% on big volume this afternoon, after getting downgraded to "sector perform" at RBC Capital. First Niagara reported weak third quarter earnings numbers thanks to an $800 million charge on Friday, and the downgrade today is adding some follow-through to the drop now.
Not that FNFG looked particularly attractive before either of those events. Shares spent most of 2014 in a downtrending channel, dropping lower on each successive test of trend line resistance. Friday's earnings-driven drop definitely adds insult to injury, though. I'd recommend against trying to buy the bottom.
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 the names 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