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.
Avis Budget Group
- Nearest Resistance: $24
- Nearest Support: N/A
- Catalyst: Q4 Earnings
Shares of rental car company Avis Budget Group (CAR) - Get Report are getting shellacked this afternoon, down more than 23% following the firm's fourth-quarter earnings call. Avid Budget reported earnings of 18 cents per share, excluding one-time charges. While those results were better than Wall Street had been counting on, the firm's profit guidance for 2016 was bad enough to scare investors into a selloff.
Technically speaking, Avis Budget's chart looks broken here. Shares had been consolidating in a channel for much of 2016, finally breaking out earlier this month. But the guidance update provided by management is proving to be enough to break shares back below prior support at $24. With no clear support level in place here, look out below.
- Nearest Resistance: $15
- Nearest Support: N/A
- Catalyst: Earnings Reaction, Technical Setup
Fitbit's negative earnings guidance was the catalyst that started the selloff, but shares are continuing the downward spiral for technical reasons after yesterday's big breakdown violated an important support level at February's prior lows. This is another stock that's had support evaporate in recent sessions. Lower ground looks likely in Fitbit over the intermediate term. Caveat emptor.
- Nearest Resistance: $19¿
- Nearest Support: $16¿
- Catalyst: Technical Setup
It may not seem like it, but things are actually looking up right now in shares of Twitter (TWTR) - Get Report right now. Twitter is down 3% on big volume, but from a technical standpoint, this big social media stock actually looks "bottomy" over the long-term.
Twitter has been forming an inverse head and shoulders pattern for most of 2016, showing signs of a key reversal that triggers a buy signal with a push above $19. Getting that meaningful breakout above $19 will take some patience here -- Twitter is correcting to form its right shoulder this week. But if Twitter can catch a bid above $19, it's time to be a buyer.
From a fundamental perspective, Twitter is a holding in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS charitable portfolio. The portfolio rates the stock a three, meaning it would sell shares on strength. In reference to Twitter's introduction of a GIF search feature, Cramer and co-portfolio-manager Jack Mohr recently wrote:
"While we love the continued innovation that management is implementing on the platform, a) we believe it will take time for these changes to resonate with users (if they ever do), and b) the execution has to be flawless in order to entice users to return to the product. We will continue to follow these developments."
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- Nearest Resistance: $12
- Nearest Support: $11
- Catalyst: Brexit Fears
Up first on the list is carmaker Ford (F) - Get Report . Ford is down 5% on big volume this afternoon, after a series of analyst notes came out warning that Ford and other automakers with significant Eurozone exposure could see substantial earnings risk if the U.K. does indeed leave the EU, a move being dubbed the "Brexit." Ford's selloff today is shoving shares back towards the bottom of their 2016 range this week.
Ford had been looking pretty strong from a technical standpoint, after breaking out of a double bottom pattern, with a move above $12 resistance. Now shares are back below that $12 range this afternoon, signaling the potential for an extended consolidation before Ford bulls can muster the strength to test that price level again. Wait for Ford to trade above $12 before you buy this big stock.
Disclosure: This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.