Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly noted that Starbucks missed earnings expectations in the most recently reported quarter. Starbucks met expectations.
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: $37.50
- Nearest Support: N/A
- Catalyst: Q3 Earnings
Renewable energy stock SolarCity (SCTY) is getting stomped this afternoon, down more than 24% following the firm's third-quarter earnings call after the bell yesterday. SolarCity reported a deeper-than-expected loss for the third quarter, shedding $2.10 per share. Worse, SolarCity guided for slower growth in the coming years, opting to focus on becoming cash-flow positive instead. Investors are reacting poorly to that strategic shift at Solar City.
Technically speaking, SolarCity looks rough. In the long-term shares had been forming a descending triangle, which triggered today with shares' big gap down through prior support at $37.50. Today's decline in shares is big, but there's more downside room from here.
- Nearest Resistance: $65
- Nearest Support: $57
- Catalyst: Q4 Earnings
Coffee chain Starbucks (SBUX) - Get Starbucks Corporation Report is seeing a small correction on huge volume this afternoon, dropping slightly following the firm's fiscal fourth-quarter earnings release. Starbucks reported earnings of 43 cents a share, in line with analyst expectations.
Long-term, this stock remains in the same uptrending channel that's propelled shares more than 51% higher since the start of January. That big uptrend should give investors some comfort this fall. For an ideal risk/reward setup, buyers should wait for shares to retrace back down to the bottom of the channel before jumping into Starbucks here.
- Nearest Resistance: $110
- Nearest Support: $100
- Catalyst: Philidor Drama
Beaten-down drug firm Valean Pharmaceuticals (VRX) is taking a nearly 6% hit this afternoon, bringing its total losses since Aug. 1 to more than 59% of its market value. The latest drama in Valeant comes from the firm's announcement that it's cutting ties with Philidor Rx Services, the distributor that Valeant has been accused of using to create phantom drug sales. The announcement is adding fuel to the fire for investors who are concerned that there may be validity to the accounting claims being made by short sellers.
From a technical standpoint, it still makes sense to stay the heck away from Valeant. This stock continues to bust through every support level on its chart, most recently violating key support at $110 this afternoon. $100 is next on the way down -- and a break through that important psychological round number could accelerate the selloff.
Disclosure: This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.