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.
iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF
- Nearest Resistance: $41
- Nearest Support: $35
- Catalyst: Yellen Comments
The iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (EEM) - Get Report ended the week on a surge of trading volume last week, starting higher before fading Friday following Janet Yellen's comments on the case for an interest rate hike. A survey from Citi showed almost 50% of institutional investors expecting higher emerging market stock prices as an outcome from higher rates, and EEM is one of the most popular ways to make that trade.
From a technical standpoint, this popular ETF still looks attractive long-term. Shares have been in a well-defined uptrend all year long, and they're holding onto that bullish trajectory this summer. On a shorter-term timeframe, EEM is correcting after peaking in mid-August. Look for a buying opportunity on the next bounce off of the bottom of the trend channel.
- Nearest Resistance: $32
- Nearest Support: $31.40
- Catalyst: Acquisition
Rackspace Hosting (RAX) ended the week on a strong note, up 4% on Friday following confirmation that Apollo Global Management and Searchlight Capital Partners are planning to take the Web hosting stock private in a deal valued at $4 billion. That announcement comes on the heels of buyout rumors in early August that spiked shares higher and left them consolidating sideways in the intervening weeks. The acquisition deal will pay Rackspace shareholders $32 per share in cash.
At this point, the money has already been made on the Rackspace trade. Investors who missed the move should look elsewhere for upside opportunities this summer.
Advanced Micro Devices
- Nearest Resistance: $9
- Nearest Support: $7
- Catalyst: Technical Setup
The ascent continues for Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) - Get Report . This $6 billion semiconductor stock ended Friday up nearly 3% on big volume, tacking a few more points onto the 167% price rally that shares have experienced year-to-date. And the stair-step higher continues to look buyable thanks to this stock's chart.
All year long, AMD's uptrend has been corralled by a well-defined uptrend, and with that trend still very much intact this summer, it makes sense to buy the next touch of trend line support at the bottom of the range. If you decide to be a buyer in AMD during the week ahead, be sure to keep a tight protective stop in place.
- Nearest Resistance: $6.25
- Nearest Support: $4.75
- Catalyst: Joint Venture Restart Comments
Shares of Brazilian mining company Vale (VALE) - Get Report saw some added attention last week, following the announcement that the firm expects to restart its Samarco iron-ore joint venture by the middle of next year, following a dam spill that halted operations. The big picture attention on Janet Yellen's rate speech also added to Friday's trading volume in Vale, one of the higher-profile Brazilian ADRs that trade on the NYSE.
Long-term, Vale looks positive. Shares have been forming a very stretched-out ascending triangle pattern, a bullish continuation pattern that triggers a buy signal with a breakout above resistance up at $6.25. Put simply, if shares can muster the strength to move above that $6.25 price ceiling, it's time to be a buyer.
Brocade Communications Systems
- Nearest Resistance: $10.50
- Nearest Support: $9.25
- Catalyst: Q3 Earnings
Brocade Communications Systems (BRCD) ended the week on a sour note, selling off 11.7% on the heels of the firm's fiscal third-quarter earnings call. Brocade actually beat analysts' expectations for the quarter, generating a profit of 21 cents per share excluding one-time items; Wall Street had only been hoping for a 16-cent profit. But guidance for the fourth quarter was muted on weakening demand from the firm's networking and storage segments. That's the driver behind the drop.
The good news is that while Brocade is down, it's not out -- at least not yet. Shares settled down on Friday right at the bottom of the uptrending channel that's been in play for Brocade since May's lows. If shares are able to muster the strength to bounce from here, we could be looking at a low-risk buying opportunity in this tech stock. Wait to see if the bounce happens before you buy shares.
- Nearest Resistance: $19
- Nearest Support: $15
- Catalyst: Technical Setup
Micron Technology's (MU) - Get Report price chart is a picture that's telling a thousand words this summer. Since May, Micron has been bouncing its way higher in a well-defined uptrend, and shares ended last week on a big-volume pop thanks to the latest successful test of that trend line. Micron has handed investors total returns of more than 72% since mid-May, and that price momentum isn't showing any signs of slowing down as shares move back up toward their 52-week highs.
From here, the next potential stumbling block in Micron doesn't get encountered until the $19 level.
- Nearest Resistance: $29
- Nearest Support: $25.50
- Catalyst: Q2 Earnings
Friday was a rough session for shareholders of $3 billion video game retailer GameStop (GME) - Get Report . Shares unloaded 10.6% of their market value during the session as a result of second-quarter earnings results. GameStop earned 27 cents per share for the second quarter, a profit number that came in almost exactly in line with what Wall Street was expecting, but top-line numbers came in worse than anticipated thanks in large part to a lack of big blockbuster titles released during the quarter.
Technically speaking, this stock's double-digit correction could be about to get bigger. Shares violated an important support level at $29 on Friday, triggering a near-term double top pattern and clearing the way for more downside ahead. From here, support at $25.50 looks like the next meaningful price floor for shares of GameStop.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.