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: $48
Nearest Support: $45.50
Catalyst: Technical Setup
Shares of $195 billion telco Verizon Communications (VZ) are slipping this afternoon on big volume thanks to a technical setup that's forming in shares. Year-to-date, shares of VZ are down almost 4%, and that trajectory looks likely to continue into March.
Verizon is currently stuck in a downtrending channel, a bearish setup that's about as simple as it gets. As VZ gets swatted down from trend line resistance for a seventh time since late October, it makes sense to sell the bounce.
Nearest Resistance: $15.50
Nearest Support: $14.40
Catalyst: February Sales Slip
Shares of Ford Motor (F) are down on big volume this afternoon after the firm released February U.S. sales that were 6.1% lower than they were a year ago. Analysts were expecting for a 5.3% drop in sales, so Ford's miss is spurring selling from investors on the fence. Winter weather was to blame for sluggish auto sales last month, as snowy conditions in the most populous parts of the country kept consumers indoors.
From a technical standpoint, Ford's chart looks rough. Shares broke down through a head and shoulders top in December, and they've been making lower highs ever since. Resistance at $15.50 is the nearest price ceiling, but this stock doesn't turn bullish again until it takes out the $16.75 level. Until then, sell the rips in Ford.
Hertz Global Holdings
Nearest Resistance: $29
Nearest Support: $25
Catalyst: Earnings Delay
Rental car giant Hertz Golbal Holdings (HTZ) is getting sold en masse this morning, down 3.4% on high volume after the firm's announcement that it would delay filing its annual report potentially until as March 18. The news is ill-timed, because Hertz is looking "toppy" from a technical standpoint right now.
HTZ is currently forming a double top pattern, formed by two recent spikes that hit their head on $29 resistance. The $25 level is the breakdown level if shares slip through that (potentially on earnigns), then we've got a strong sell in Hertz. Shares aren't likely to catch a bid again until $21 gets touched. Anyone who owns this name should keep a close eye on $25 as those delayed earnings approach.
Nearest Resistance: $70
Nearest Support: $67.50
Catalyst: WhatsApp Hangover
Finally, Facebook (FB) is showing some cracks this afternoon, following some public comments that the firm is overpaying for its $19 billion WhatsApp acquisition. Shares are only off 0.75% as of this afternoon, but that retracement is coming just as FB is testing out forming a top. While shares do look a bit "toppy" here, there's ample support below shares right now, so it's unlikely that any correction here would be that painful.
Now isn't the ideal time to start building material positions in FB, but it's not time to start selling urgently either. The big sell signal comes if FB falls through the 50-day moving average. That level has been a proxy for support since early December, so if shares can't catch a bid there, it's a large red flag.
To see these stocks in action, check out the at Most-Active Stocks portfolio on Stockpickr.
-- Written by Jonas Elmerraji in Baltimore.