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 Japan ETF
- Nearest Resistance: $10.25
- Nearest Support: $11.50
- Catalyst: Technical Setup
Japan is getting some attention this afternoon. Shares of the iShares MSCI Japan ETF (EWJ) - Get Report are sideways on big volume for technical reasons. The iShares Japan ETF has been a rough performer in 2016, down about 10% since the calendar flipped to the New Year. But shares are beginning to look "bottomy" in the long-term, and that's driving interest in this big ETF this week.
EWJ is forming an inverse head and shoulders pattern right now, a bullish reversal pattern that signals exhaustion among sellers. If EWJ can clear its "neckline" level up at $11.50, shares could have much higher to run.
- Nearest Resistance: $22
- Nearest Support: $16
- Catalyst: Q4 Earnings
$2.6 billion pharmaceutical firm Horizon Pharma (HZNP) - Get Report is selling off 16% this afternoon, following the firm's fourth-quarter earnings results. Horizon reported profits of 63 cents per share, just slightly beating the 61.5-cent quarterly profit that Wall Street was expecting, on average. But shares are selling off thanks to news that the firm received a subpoena in November about its patient assistance programs, an event that the firm admitted could cause substantial costs or additional investigations.
Long term, Horizon actually doesn't look too bad technically, despite today's double-digit selloff. Shares have been forming an ascending triangle pattern, with resistance up at $22. It's still too early to look for a buying opportunity in Horizon here, but if shares can manage to catch a bid above $22, it makes sense to jump into this trade.
- Nearest Resistance: $100
- Nearest Support: $92.50
- Catalyst: Technical Setup
Tech giant Apple (AAPL) - Get Report is seeing a big-volume technical move this afternoon, up 1.2% as of this writing. Apple has been forming a long-term rounding bottom pattern since the beginning of 2016, slowly carving out a reversal as buyers have stepped into this stock.
Round number resistance up at $100 is the major price level to watch from here. If shares can break out above $100, the reversal is complete and Apple is likely to rally. From there, prior support at $105 looks like the next potential stumbling block for shares on the way up.
Apple is a holding in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS charitable portfolio. "Everybody is looking for the bad news right now, but maybe that is the good news as sentiment bottoms ahead of new product launches," Cramer and co-portfolio-manager Jack Mohr wrote recently. "As we always say, Apple is one to own, not trade (especially with all the noise out there now)."
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Disclosure: This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author was long AAPL.