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.
- Nearest Resistance: $60
- Nearest Support: $51
- Catalyst: Q2 2016 Earnings
Tech giant Microsoft (MSFT) - Get Report is seeing huge volume this afternoon, up almost 5% on big volume as I write, following the firm's second-quarter earnings call for fiscal 2016 after the bell yesterday. Microsoft earned a profit of 78 cents per share, excluding one-time items. Analysts had been expecting earnings to come in at 71 cents.
Shares gapped up at the open today, and they're holding in the middle of their trend channel right now. The earnings beat came at just the right time for Microsoft – shares had been testing trendline support at $51 earlier in the week. From here, higher ground looks likely in Microsoft.
- Nearest Resistance: $725
- Nearest Support: $575
- Catalyst: Q4 Earnings
Amazon.com (AMZN) - Get Report is another mega-cap tech stock that's seeing big volume following its own earnings call. Amazon posted profits of $1 per share, coming in much lower than the $1.55 earnings estimate that Wall Street was looking for, on average. That's sending Amazon's share price 8% lower this afternoon.
Despite the earnings miss, Amazon's technical picture hasn't changed at this point. Shares are testing the bottom of their price channel this afternoon, which means that a bounce off of support at $575 actually gives investors a pretty attractive buying opportunity from a risk/reward standpoint. On the flip-side, if Amazon violates support at that $575 level, then we're likely to see a lot more downside risk in February.
- Nearest Resistance: $14
- Nearest Support: $10
- Catalyst: Shareholder Meeting
The big pop may look appealing -- especially considering that Micron's up move is so much higher than the bounce in the broad market -- but it's not that meaningful in the long-term context of this stock. Shares violated key support at $14 at the start of the year, and they've plummeted 25% in the weeks since, even factoring in today's rebound. While a weak support level is in place at $10, it's a little too early to look for a buying opportunity in Micron at this point.
- Nearest Resistance: $117
- Nearest Support: $95
- Catalyst: Technical Setup
Facebook (FB) - Get Report is enjoying a 3% big-volume pop this afternoon, a carryover from the firm's fourth-quarter earnings call earlier this week combined with a bullish technical setup in shares.
Facebook has been in a well-defined uptrend for more than a year now, bouncing its way higher on every test of support. Shares were testing that support level for a ninth time at the start of the week, gapping dramatically higher following the earnings announcement. Despite the gap, shares are still trading within the same price channel they've been corralled within for the last 12 months. A correction looks likely as Facebook closes in on $117 resistance.
Disclosure: This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.