BALTIMORE ( Stockpickr) -- 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 thats 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 today.
These "most active" names are the most heavily-traded names on the market -- and often, uber-active names have some sort of a technical or fundamental catalyst driving investors' attention on shares. That's especially true now that earnings season is officially underway. And when there's a big catalyst, there's often a trading opportunity.
Without further ado, heres a look at today's stocks.
Nearest Resistance: N/A
Nearest Support: $200
Catalyst: JPMorgan Upgrade, Gigafactory
First up is the name that's on everybody's lips this week: Tesla Motors (TSLA). Tesla reported strong earnings last week, spurring a 33% rally in the market sessions since then. Today, shares are up almost 4% on news that JPMorgan Chase (JPM) had hiked Tesla's target price to $320. A lot of that new upside potential comes from the firm's "Gigafactory," a massive battery factory that would supply the firm's battery needs. Rumors that Japanese battery giant Panasonic could be investing $1 billion in Tesla's factory are spurring the share boost today.
From a technical standpoint, there's no question that Tesla is in breakout mode right now. Shares of the $31 billion firm took out the key $200 level after earnings news hit, and they're hold above that newfound support price with vigor. TSLA is testing new all-time highs in today's session. Without resistance overhead, it could see even higher levels in March.
Nearest Resistance: $57.50
Nearest Support: $47.50
Catalyst: Q4 Earnings
Shares of First Solar (FSLR) are getting shellacked on high volume this afternoon after the firm announced its fourth-quarter earnings. While analysts had been looking for 98 cents of profit based on consensus estimates, FSLR only earned 89 cents per share. Revenues too fell well short of Wall Street's forecasts. Shares of FSLR are down more than 11% as I write on Wednesday.
The good news is that FSLR is fast approaching support at $47.50, a price level that's acted like a floor for shares in the past. The less good news is that, in the long-term, FSLR is forming a bearish descending triangle pattern. Short-term, a bounce off $47.50 looks buyable, but shares will need to take out their most recent high at $57.50 for the longer-term bearishness to get wiped out.
Nearest Resistance: $27
Nearest Support: $24
Catalyst: Q4 Earnings
Chesapeake Energy (CHK) is a member of the earnings loser's club today. Shares are down 6.5% this afternoon, following the firm's fourth-quarter earnings release. Chesapeake swung to a loss for the quarter, losing 24 cents per share thanks to charges that hit the firm's books. Excluding those charges, CHK posted a 27-cent profit, but it was far from the 41 cents that investors were hoping for.
Still, the downside in CHK is contained today. Shares have been forming a downtrending channel since early November, and that puts a floor in shares at $24. No, that doesn't mean that we're looking at a buying opportunity in Chesapeake the channel is moving lower, after all. But it does mean that today's drop isn't technically significant. I'd recommend staying away from the long side of CHK until shares can push above resistance.
Nearest Resistance: $6.25
Nearest Support: $5
Catalyst: Q4 Earnings
Shares of volatile retailer J.C. Penney (JCP) are nearly flat today, but they're seeing high trading volume ahead of earnings after the bell today. JCP has easily been one of the most active names of the last year, dropping more than 38% just since the calendar flipped over to January. And today's earnings call is guaranteed to inject more volatility into shares when the market opens tomorrow. But there's a trade to be made here.
In the near-term, JCP is looking "bottomy." Shares have made two bottoms at the $5 support level, with a buy signal coming if shares can push through $6.25. That upside may be very limited, however. Trend line resistance right at the 50-day moving average comes with a glut of selling pressure. In short, if shares break above $6.25 tomorrow, buy the move to the 50-day (if they move above that, JCP becomes a longer-term buy). Otherwise, if shares slip below their critical floor at $5, it becomes a major sell signal.
To see these stocks in action, check out the at Most-Active Stocks portfolio on Stockpickr.
-- Written by Jonas Elmerraji in Baltimore.